West Yorkshire Combined Authority

West Yorkshire Combined Authority are a Made in Yorkshire Patron Member

Leeds City Region businesses boosted by launch of £16.4m support programmes

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Businesses across Leeds City Region are set to benefit from two new programmes of support, launched this month by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The first of these, the £9.2m Access Innovation programme will support SMEs to develop new products and services by accessing specialist expertise. The programme will help connect businesses to the knowledge base that exists in the region, including the largest concentration of universities outside of London.

Businesses will also be able to connect to other research organisations, such as Catapult Centres which provide access to expert technical support, equipment, and other resources that help create innovative ideas.

In addition, the month will also see the launch of a £7.2m Strategic Business Growth Programme. This programme will provide expert support to small businesses to help them realise their growth potential.

Among its services will be impartial one-to-one coaching on all aspects of business growth, including financial management, sales, marketing and planning. It will also deliver workshops on ‘hot topics’ and businesses will have the chance to learn from one another through the peer-to-peer element of this programme.

These new programmes are part of a wider package of support available to businesses in Leeds City Region through the LEP Growth Service. They are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Government through the LEP’s £1bn Growth Deal.

Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Our aim is to make Leeds City Region the best place in the UK to start, develop and grow a business and we now have a comprehensive package of support available for all kinds of businesses, accessible through a single phone number and website.

“Innovation is key to driving economic growth and I’m especially pleased that we have this new substantial package of support to help companies exploit new ideas.

“Innovation cannot happen in isolation and this new programme means businesses have greater access to the expertise and opportunities to collaborate, innovate and grow. I encourage businesses owners to pick up the phone and talk to us.”

Cllr Tim Swift, West Yorkshire Combined Authority lead for Business, Innovation and Growth, added: “These new programmes will further support the region’s businesses to achieve their growth ambitions and are a welcome addition to the wealth of support already available.

“The LEP’s Growth Service supports businesses of all types and we have already helped over 3,000 businesses to date. This is set to increase in the coming months with the launch of this additional support.”