Open Call – Local Growth Fundbtvlep2020-03-19T16:10:18+00:00
Open Call for Productivity Investment Proposals
Local Growth Fund
Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership is inviting expressions of interest for well-developed environmentally sustainable projects that support delivery of Buckinghamshire’s Local Industrial Strategy and growth within our four key sectors, Upstream Space, Creative and Digital, Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing and Medical Technology and Health.
Individual bids will be considered for minimum of £500k Local Growth Fund capital grant, for projects with a minimum of 50% match funding. We will be particularly keen to see proposals for projects that can be completed and operational by March 2021.
Proposals should demonstrate clear alignment with our Local Industrial Strategy and our strategic drivers to boost business scale up, promote entrepreneurship and commercial innovation, drive a skills revolution and transform digital infrastructure.
Applications should include a sound business case showing return on investment and with clearly defined outcomes and benefits. Bids will be independently evaluated and decisions on successful proposals look to be made by the LEP Board in May 2020.
Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy
Buckinghamshire LEP is well placed within the heart of the Oxford Cambridge Arc and our Local Industrial Strategy approved by government in July 2019 sets out our ambition to drive economic growth and skills revolution across four industry sectors.
The Westcott space cluster: significant investment from government, Buckinghamshire LEP, and the private sector has nurtured local expertise in the space cluster. This is signified by the UK Space Agency’s recent decision to invest £4.12m into Westcott Venture Park to develop the National Space Propulsion Test Facility. This Local Industrial Strategy sets out how partners will take the cluster to the next level, by working with businesses to address skills shortages for technicians and propulsion test specialists and developing a long-term investment plan for Westcott to develop new R&D infrastructure and an established base for manufacturing excellence in the fields of space propulsion and in-orbit maintenance, based on working across value chains.
Pinewood Studios: and the National Film and Television School at the heart of a creative industries cluster: home to Pinewood Studios, the National Film and Television School and the International eGames Committee, Buckinghamshire stands out in the creative media and entertainment sector. As this creative cluster evolves, Buckinghamshire aims to be at the forefront of future changes in the way in which creative content is developed and consumed. Working with the creative industries network, Buckinghamshire LEP will take action to work with government to consolidate a global industries capability furthering export capacity and inward investment in the sector, aiming to secure investment in and access to key research facilities and programmes.
Silverstone Park and technology cluster: Buckinghamshire’s Silverstone Technology Cluster is a significant part of the Arc’s high technology capability, and there exists major opportunity to stimulate potential high technology crossovers between, and across, sectors. To stimulate growth, Buckinghamshire LEP and the Silverstone Technology Cluster aim to focus business investment and financial incentives on SME innovation, and attract interest from the finance community, large corporates and overseas investors. Action will also be taken to support emerging technologies through improving links between firms and the knowledge base, developing the ecosystem to improve connectivity between businesses and universities, and improving networking across the Arc’s ‘super-cluster’.
Digital health, med-tech and advanced artificial intelligence: Buckinghamshire benefits from significant assets in the digital health sector, including the Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre, Stoke Mandeville (the UK’s national spinal centre) and global industry leaders such as GE Healthcare and Johnson and Johnson with well-established research bases within the area.
We will deliver this change by transforming economic drivers and the business ecosystem to drive productivity through:
a skills and inspiration revolution
transformative investment in digital infrastructure
development of enhanced and long-term R&D collaborations as part of a Living Lab
advancement of commercial innovation
boosting business scaleup and efficiency
Local Growth Fund
Buckinghamshire LEP has identified potential scope for further investment through current and future Local Growth Fund programmes. We are therefore inviting expressions of interest for business and skills projects that support our Local Industrial Strategy and help develop our pipeline of investment priorities for future funding.
We are particularly interested in receiving partnership proposals from public, private, academic or community organisations that have well advanced schemes with a minimum of 50% match funding secured. We are particularly keen to see a first wave of projects that can be delivered and completed by March 2021 although projects that have a longer delivery timeframe will also be welcomed to support a future investment pipeline.
As we have a limited amount of funding, we would particularly welcome applications that are looking for loan or equity finance or from projects that are capable of recycling our LGF capital funds.
We recognise that we only have Capital Funding available, so will be expecting bidders to bring their own revenue funding to the table as part of the bid process.
If the bidder for this project has previously secured EU revenue funding, we would expect the accountable body for this capital funding to be able to demonstrate clear separation tests from the accountable body for any EU funding (so as to minimise any risk of cross subsidisation and potentially jeopardise the sustainability of the facility).
Applicants for this capital funding are advised to ensure their delivery model complies with current State Aid Legislation.
Evaluation of Proposals
Evaluation of Proposals will be undertaken by an Independent Consultant retained by Buckinghamshire LEP. Evaluation will include an analysis of;
Type of Funding Required and Value For Money
To support your bid, please read the recently producedBuckinghamshire Skills Analysisproduced with members of the Buckinghamshire Skills Advisory Panel. The analysis is distilled into ten Buckinghamshire Skills Priorities which are presented upfront. The detail behind each Buckinghamshire Skills Priority is presented in the main body of the report. Whilst the success of your bid will not be judged against a link to the Skills Priorities or analysis, please draw on this resource to inform your bid where appropriate and relevant.
The Buckinghamshire Skills Analysis presents the Skills Priorities and what needs to happen to ensure essential skills are available to deliver the vision and ambition set in the Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy. How this will happen will be presented in the Buckinghamshire Skills Action Plan, currently in development.
Submission of Proposals
Please complete and submit the Application Form below to firstname.lastname@example.org on Monday 27 April 2020. If you would like to discuss your application, please call 01494 927160.