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Funding arrangements

West of England Local Growth Assurance Framework sets out the governance arrangements and processes through which the LEP funding streams will operate. Compliance with required guidance has been confirmed to Government including in an  Annual Assurance Statement.

Local Enterprise Partnership

Current LEP funding programmes

The West of England Growth Hub helps businesses in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to start, innovate, grow and thrive.  It does this by encouraging businesses to support and collaborate with each other.  In addition to this, the Growth Hub team offer up to 12 hours free support either over the phone or face to face. Growth Hub services are free to all businesses in the West of England and to date 979 businesses have been supported.     

The Growth Hub is hosted by the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership and is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy.

Invest Bristol & Bath is the investment promotion agency for the West of England and is   supported by LEP funding.  It supports foreign direct investment, UK national companies and those companies already in the region as they grow and expand, with hands on advice and intelligence. 

The Careers Enterprise Company provides funding support for West of England Enterprise Adviser Network and the Careers Hub which are managed by the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership. 

The Enterprise Adviser Network is a team of around 60 business people who work with schools and colleges, sharing their expertise to help improve careers advice and work experience opportunities for young people.  

The Careers Hub works with 95 schools and colleges from across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. The schools and colleges are supported to improve careers opportunities and work experiences for young people, allowing them to make more informed choices about their careers. 

The Low Carbon Challenge Fund (LCCF) will support the shift towards a low carbon economy and support businesses in their recovery from the impact of COVID. It is a £3.5m grant scheme, with £2.1m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant and £1.4m grant from the Investment Fund. LCCF is managed by the West of England Combined Authority, reporting to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) on ERDF.   There are three LCCF grant streams:

  • Green Business Grants
  • Innovative Local Energy Scheme
  • Innovative Housing Retrofit Scheme

This £1.7m programme supports MEs to improve their energy efficiency of their buildings and business operations. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can save businesses money on energy bills. The programme have already invested over £200,000 in local businesses. In the first round of grants, it helped local businesses install: 

  • LED lighting and better lighting controls, 
  • solar film to reduce overheating and air con use in summer, 
  • more efficient heating and better controls, 
  • insulation to walls and roofs, and 
  • air compressors and variable speed drives to improve the efficiency of manufacturing and processing equipment. 

The West of England Combined Authority is the host and accountable body for the South West Energy Hub which supports organisations across the wider South West of England to identify, develop and implement projects that reduce energy use and increase clean energy capacity. This could include: 

  • Energy efficient retrofit for homes, business and the public sector 
  • Energy infrastructure for new development or improvements in construction standards 
  • Renewable or low carbon heat and electricity generation 
  • Distribution network improvements above standard investment processes including smart grids and storage 
  • Heat networks and heat recovery 
  • Energy supply or refuelling for low carbon vehicles 
  • The South West Energy Hub receives £3.395m funding from government over an initial 3-year period. 

Workforce for the Future will improve skills to benefit residents and businesses across the region. It is a £8.1m fund including £4m from the European Social Fund and £4.1m from the West of England Combined Authority Investment Fund, for activities to link small and medium-sized businesses with the right talent, creating new employment opportunities for residents. 

Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training (WIDJET) works with women across the region, providing digital skills and training from entry-level taster sessions through to high-level industry specified courses. Participants can take part in a range of skills courses, training or seminars designed directly with business needs in mind, with the aim of them securing jobs in digital roles. The programme is supported by £238,000 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 

This £3.294m funding programme provides support to SMEs to assist them as they undertake research and development activities, including those contributing towards clean and inclusive growth. It is supported by £1.45m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund, which is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. This is match funded through the West of England Combined Authority Investment Fund and businesses. Established by the European Union, it helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. 

The LEP funding streams:

  • Economic Development Fund – £500m fund created from retained business rate growth across the West of England Enterprise Zone and Areas. The fund runs for 25 years from 2014 until 2039, is focused on supporting capital infrastructure to unlock job creation in the Enterprise Zone and Areas and is open to the West of England Combined Authority and the four unitary authorities of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, South Gloucestershire Council and North Somerset Council. 
  • Local Growth Fund – through Growth Deals, (GD 1 & 2, GD 3 Award), the West of England LEP secured a total of £202.1m from the government’s Local Growth Fund that will be invested in the West of England from 2015 – 2021.  This funding, which is capital only, will be matched by over £200m of additional investment from local partners and the private sector, and together will create over 9,000 jobs.
  • Revolving Infrastructure Fund – this fund is worth £56.7m and is made up of two elements including £16.9m from the Growing Places fund and £39.8m from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The fund’s purpose is to drive economic growth and is used to front end the infrastructure required to enable development.  Open to the four local authorities, the fund is largely capital and is required to be repaid in order to keep the fund revolving.
  • Get Building Fund – £13.7M capital funding to help complete major projects which are planned to stimulate jobs and support the region’s economic recovery. To create or safeguard 2,403 jobs, plus another 153 during construction, while also benefiting more than 265 business.

Projects overview

A list of all schemes together with their approval and delivery status, funding allocation and supporting documentation such as business case, scheme summary and where applicable end of project report is regularly updated, the latest version can be viewed hereThe Local Growth Fund, Economic Development Fund and Revolving Infrastructure Fund Annual Report for 2020/21 can be viewed here. Previous Annual Reports are also available for the following years: 2015/162016/172017/18,  2018/19 and 2019/20 

Annual Statement of Accounts are published every year. For 2018/19 and 2019/20 the LEP income and expenditure is dealt with in note 22 to the West of England Combined Authority accounts (page 75 of the linked report).  A presentation which details an annual snapshot of projects in delivery as well as completed schemes and a summary of their outputs and outcomes can be viewed here.

Through the LEP, we are funding projects that are benefiting businesses, schools, colleges, universities and residents across the region. The LEP funding programmes are set out on pages 33 to 39 of the Business Plan.

LEP Finances

Annual Statement of Accounts are published every year. The latest Annual Statement of Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2021 can be viewed here and details the financial accounts for the West of England Combined Authority and in Section 22, pages 89 – 93.

Key documents

LEP logo and HM government logo