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Growing Places Fund

The latest round of Growing Places Fund is now closed.

The Growing Places Fund was established by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government) and the Department for Transport in 2011 to unlock economic growth, create jobs and build houses and help ‘kick start’ development at stalled sites. The fund works as a recycled capital loan scheme regenerating funds based on the repayment schedules agreed for existing Growing Places Fund projects.

A total of £49.2m Growing Places Fund capital funding was made available to SELEP for spend as a capital loan. The recyclable nature of the pot has enabled a total of £54.4m to be invested across 21 projects to date.

A number of repayments were made during 2018/19 and further repayments are expected during 2019/20. This provides the opportunity for the reinvestment of this funding in new projects.

Subject to future expected repayments being made in 2019/20 and 2020/21, the total amount of Growing Places Fund currently available for reinvestment is £20.724m, of which £15.595m will be available in 2020/21 and a further £5.129m in 2021/22. An open call of projects was issued for projects to bid for between £250,000 and £3.5m, with projects being required to meet the GPF eligibility criteria. Projects are prioritised based on the assessment criteria for the available funding.

The overall objectives of the Growing Places Fund are to support development at stalled investment sites, improve skills and learner numbers, to accelerate the delivery of new houses and to support the creation of new jobs. Growing Places Fund projects should be aligned with SELEP’s strategic objectives as set out in SELEP’s Economic Strategy Statement, SmarterFasterTogether.  The Economic Strategy Statement sets out five main priorities:

  • Priority 1 – Creating ideas and enterprise
  • Priority 2 – Developing tomorrow’s workforce
  • Priority 3 – Accelerating infrastructure
  • Priority 4 – Creating Places
  • Priority 5 – Working together

Further details are available in the Guidance note for applicants.

Project proposals will be evaluated through a three-stage process:

  • Stage 1 – Federated Area assessment, sifting and prioritisation of projects by Strategic Fit
  • Stage 2 – Independent Technical Evaluator assessment and scheme prioritisation by SELEP Investment Panel
  • Stage 3 – SELEP Accountability Board funding decision.

Stage 1 of the application process requires the completion of an Expression of Interest form for each proposed project.  Expression of Interest forms should be submitted to the relevant Federated Board lead contact as detailed below.

The deadline for submission of Expression of Interest closed on the 1st November 2019