£20m fund boosts growth projects across the regionMay 29, 2019
Artist’s impression of the new YMCA Milton Keynes building.
TEN projects across the South East Midlands have received a major boost this week from the Local Growth Fund administered by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.
More good-quality commercial space for businesses and developing a local talent pipeline of people to meet the needs of employers are two priority actions highlighted in the emerging Local Industrial Strategy for the South East Midlands, due to be published in the next few months.
Now projects are progressing afte rreceiving a share of the £20 million Local growth Fund pot.
SEMLEP’s role is to enhance and promote the area’s economic prosperity and address challenges and constraints faced by businesses. Through its capital investment programme the Local Growth Fund, SEMLEP invests in projects that improve business productivity, develop local skills in line with employers’ needs and enhance the digital, physical and cultural infrastructure.
Projects that have recevied funding include:
- Regeneration of a derelict building to create a business, skills and innovation centre next to the Luton Enterprise Zone area near London Luton Airport. This will redevelop 1,700 sq metres of office accommodation for small business and incubator space as well as provide training facilities for local businesses.
- A Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths centre of excellence based at Mark Rutherford School in Bedford, which will develop bespoke teaching space for mixed age groups of students from across Bedford borough, including a lecture hall to promote interest in STEAM-related subjects, linking in with the school’s planetarium.
- A contribution to the new YMCA facility in Milton Keynes with affordable housing and employment and training facilities for nearly 200 young people. The funding will support the constructing and fitting out a café, nursery and meeting rooms.
- A new enterprise centre in East Northamptonshire which will provide modern, flexible work, networking spaces and support for businesses.
YMCA Milton Keynes chief executive Simon Green said: “YMCA Milton Keynes supports young people to belong, contribute and thrive. Our redevelopment project allows us to offer a range of high-quality housing options to young people in housing need and creates a number of commercial and social enterprise activities that will help fund our work and provide training and employment opportunities to unemployed young people.
“SEMLEP’s support through the Local Growth Fund will enable us to help hundreds of young people each year.”
The funding announcements follow an open bidding round for applications in the autumn last year. Further projects that applied will be considered by the SEMLEP board at its next meeting in July, after completion of additional due diligence and project appraisal processes.
SEMLEP chair Peter Horrocks said: “The South East Midlands is an area of great business potential. The funding decisions will contribute to delivering our area’s growth ambitions and the variety of projects that were successful in the funding competition shows the huge opportunity our area creates.
“The projects will support our young people to become the innovators of the future and, will create the good quality places that will benefit our communities and businesses for many years to come.”
Speaking about the award for the Enterprise Centre East Northants, East Northamptonshire Council leader Cllr Steven North said: “We are delighted to have received funding from the SEMLEP Growth Fund to deliver this innovative flagship centre, which will provide flexible units, business support and virtual office space for local businesses. “This is an exciting time for East Northants as we see work start on site next month and this development take shape.”