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LLEP makes £10m of loans available to accelerate major infrastructure projects

LLEP makes £10m of loans available to accelerate major infrastructure projects

Jobs, homes and business space will be created as £10m is made available for loans which accelerate the creation of new infrastructure in Leicester and Leicestershire.

  • ● Growing Places Fund loans provide capital for significant developments
  • ● Projects must demonstrate opportunity to deliver strategic goals, such as sustainability
  • ● Fund has previously supported transformation at The Gresham, Leicester Waterside and more

The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) is inviting expressions of interest in loans made available through the Growing Places Fund (GPF).

Previous GPF loans have been used to help deliver schemes including The Gresham, in Leicester city centre, and the £20m Leicester Waterside regeneration project.

GPF is a UK-wide loan scheme aimed at providing capital for major infrastructure projects.

Loans are made through a £730m Government-backed national investment fund, with expressions of interest invited from developers, local authorities and other applicants.

Andy Reed OBE, Interim Chair of the LLEP Board and Chair of the Investment Panel, said: 

“The Fund will accelerate delivery of sustainable infrastructure projects that boost our local economy and create jobs.

“Our officers are ready to speak with partners who are interested in applying for loans, from £500,000 upwards, which will help to deliver growth in Leicester and Leicestershire.”

Applicants must demonstrate how their loan would contribute towards achieving objectives set out in the LLEP’s Economic Growth Strategy.

The Economic Growth Strategy sets out a number of objectives, through to 2030, under four core pillars of innovation, productivity, inclusivity and sustainability.

Neil McGhee, LLEP Board Member and Low Carbon Champion, said:

“We welcome expressions of interest from partners proposing imaginative responses to the priorities of our four strategic pillars.

“Sustainability is fundamental to LLEP strategy through to 2030 and this fund presents another opportunity to support the next wave of Low Carbon infrastructure projects.”

Growing Places funding is used for the building of homes, office and commercial developments. It could contribute to site access, clearance, broadband and transport infrastructure, utilities, refurbishment of buildings and more.

A total of £17.5m of GPF has already been loaned for projects in Leicester and Leicestershire. It has helped to create 1,786 jobs, 371 homes and more than 200,000 square metres of new or refurbished floorspace.

Developed sites have so far attracted 46 businesses, while new cycleways and roads have also been created. Successful loans have included:

  • £4m to support the transformation of the Grade II-listed former Fenwick’s department store in Leicester into The Gresham aparthotel, commercial units and almost 12,000 sq ft of new co-working space.
  • £1.2m towards the £20m Leicester Waterside regeneration project, to transform a 150-acre former industrial site into a thriving neighbourhood with hundreds of new homes and commercial workspaces. The project is expected to create 455 jobs.
  • £4.4m over three investments at Optimus Point, in Glenfield, between 2014 and 2017. Funds were used to fund on and off-site infrastructure. The site has the potential to create up to 2,000 jobs.

The LLEP has allocated £10 million for the latest round of GPF loans. 

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