European funding has been accessed via a new round of capital and will result in the funds being handed down to local enterprise partnerships to assist them in the support of the growth of local companies.
If this, nearly £400 million of European funding aimed at boosting local businesses has been made available for the West Midlands region.
The latest round of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will see the capital allocated to local enterprise partnerships (LEP) to distribute to companies on their patches in need of a financial boost to support their growth plans.
Of the European funding…
Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP have received £178.3 million, Black Country LEP has been allocated £123.6 million and Coventry and Warwickshire LEP have access to £94.8 million.
This is the first time ERDF money is being targeted at LEP areas in what is being called a “major shift to more localised spending”.
Allocation of the funding is being led locally from the start of the process and it is aimed at supporting innovation, boosting businesses and creating jobs across the West Midlands’ local economies.
Solihull Councillor Ian Courts said: “The GBSLEP area’s plan for growth is driven by the needs of our businesses and community.
“The funds this area is receiving from the new ERDF programme will play an important part in delivering on our ambitions.
“Having agreed the local priorities for using these funds and moving our economy forward, we can now proceed with spending it on the best projects that deliver growth and jobs in Greater Birmingham and Solihull.”
In the wider West Midlands region, LEPs representing Worcestershire, The Marches and Stoke and Staffordshire have collectively received £239.3 million.
Local Growth Minister James Wharton said: “This European funding will give cities a chance to contribute more to the national economy and unlock local potential.
“It will ensure we can build local economies that will have a big and real impact on people’s lives, delivering more jobs, more opportunities and a better future for all.
“We want local partners to come forward with how they want to use this money to drive forward their economy.
“As part of our long-term economic plan, this money will provide a big boost to businesses and help create numerous jobs locally that will also benefit people living in towns and villages nearby.”
Around the country, £5 billion is being made available from the 2014 to 2020 round of the ERDF and the European Social Fund to support local projects.
The 2007-2013 round of ERDF created 14,345 jobs across the West Midlands from £324 million of funding.