A business-led group striving to drive forward the economy in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has backed seven commercial projects which made bids for Government funding last week.
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has supported the applications to the Regional Growth Fund which could create hundreds of jobs in the area.
It is the first of three bidding rounds to the £1.4bn fund, created by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills last year. The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP has been working closely with the project bids to help to ensure they are as robust as possible. The bids total £30m.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman Jim Rickard said it was essential that the supported bids met all the criteria to have any chance of success.
“We have been working closely with these seven projects as they were identified as being ready to undergo the tough scrutiny they will receive by the Government department.
“There are many more that we can consider for LEP support in the future but we must be realistic about focussing on those which have a chance of obtaining funding and which we believe will help to create and safeguard jobs in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP area.
“This is a highly competitive national process and we understand that the bids may only be partially successful or not at all. However there are a further two rounds where potential bids can be submitted.
“A lot of hard work has gone into these bids and the LEP is pleased to have lent its support in aiming to make them a success.”
The projects are:
An expansion of the existing innovation centre to help the growth of high technology businesses
Development of processes to reduce energy consumption to maintain the UK’s competitive edge in the global market
Media Place (at Staffordshire University’s Stoke campus):
Creating a facility that provides business start up space for the digital media sector
The development of a world class research and development centre at Alstom in Stafford
Centre of Refurbishment Excellence (CoRE):
Development of a national centre for excellence in refurbishment of buildings
East West Centre Redevelopment:
Amajor city shopping and leisure development to complement the relocation and improvement of the bus station in Stoke-on-Trent
Central Business District(phase 1):
A mixed use development in Stoke-on-Trentcity centre designed to attract regional and national business and professional services firms
The Regional Growth Fund bidding process is highly competitive. Bidders understand that their applications may need to be reconsidered at a later stage, or that funding allocated may be less than they had applied for. Bids need to demonstrate that they meet the fund’s objectives, offer good value for money, be evidence based, attract additional private sector funding and fit well with the local economy.
There are many other projects put forward by business, education and public sector organisations which the LEP will be reviewing for future rounds.