The West of England LEP works to bring funding to the West of England region to support economic growth, either by bidding to government on behalf of the area or supporting other organisations’ bids.
The funds are matched by additional investment from local partners and the private sector, building on the strength of the region to create more jobs and a skilled workforce in the West of England.
The way in which funds are managed are set out in the Local Growth Assurance Framework.
Current LEP funding programmes:
- 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 WECA 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, 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.
West of England Local Growth Assurance Framework sets out the governance arrangements and processes through which the LEP funding streams will operate. The framework has been signed off by the LEP Board, and compliance with required guidance has been confirmed to Government in an Annual Assurance Statement.
How to apply for funding:
All projects, regardless of the funding being applied for are required to submit a business case. All submitted business cases are reviewed and taken forward for decision by the Joint Committee. A step by step guide and support manual provide further information on the process.
Submission of an Outline Business Cases will, if approved, give a project Programme Entry status, meaning that it has been provisionally accepted to the funding programme. Funding however will not be guaranteed until a Full Business Case is submitted and approved and approval will also be dependent on whether sufficient funds are available. If the project meets the required criteria but insufficient funds are available, the project will be awarded Pipeline Status, which will enable it to be considered alongside others should funding become available.
All approved project business cases, both Outline and Full, are published on this website together with a scheme summary. Additional information also published includes an equality and diversity statement and plan, and upon project completion, an end of project report. Evaluation reports are also published generally post one year and three years post scheme completion, though few schemes are currently at this stage.
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 here.
An Annual Report for the Local Growth Fund has been produced for 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19. The reports detail the funding allocations including match funding, the spend against projects by year and the current delivery status. 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.
Annual Statement of Accounts are published every year. The latest Annual Statement of Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2019 can be viewed here and details the financial accounts for the West of England Combined Authority and in Section 21, pages 69 – 74, for ease the LEP’s financial information section has been extracted.