THE Solent Local Enterprise Partnership has opened a fourth round of bidding to its Solent Growing Places Fund for infrastructure projects that will create new jobs and homes in the Solent.
It is anticipated it will be the last opportunity to apply to the fund, which is for large-scale infrastructure projects such as road networks, service and utility installation and broadband provision.
This round is open directly to bids from either the public or private sector and the LEP will consider investing in projects on a loan, forward funding or equity share basis.
Following the announcement in November that ship building operations at Portsmouth Naval Base would cease in the second half of 2014, the Solent LEP is also encouraging applications for projects that will create or safeguard jobs in the advanced manufacturing, defence, marine and maritime sectors.
Bids will need to be for a minimum of £100,000, up to the entire value of the £3,039,000 fund. Grant funding is not available. The closing date for application is February 10.
Gary Jeffries, chairman of the Solent LEP, said: ‘This fund is designed to deliver the kind of major infrastructure improvements the region needs in order to support our ambitious plans for growth. It’s also there to support our advanced manufacturing, defence, marine and maritime sectors at a critical time.
‘Growing Places has been a successful fund and this is likely to be the last opportunity to access it in the near future, so I would urge business to take this opportunity to realise truly game-changing projects for the Solent.’
The first Solent Growing Places funding round saw £11m invested into infrastructure at the Solent Enterprise Zone, which will result in the creation of almost 1,200 jobs, and a further £2.7m of private sector investment is currently being finalised.
For more information visit solentlep.org.uk/growing_places