Hertfordshire LEP is holding an open call for economic development projects in the county with £12.5m capital grant funding available.

The funding comes from the Government Growth Deal funding and Local Growth Minister Jake Berry was in attendance at the Ambition Broxbourne Business Centre, Hoddesdon, where the announcement was made to mark the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week [13-19 November].

The 20,000 sq ft centre, jointly funded by Broxbourne Borough Council (£2.1m) and Hertfordshire LEP (£1.8m), opened in December 2016 to provide much-needed growing-on space for SMEs. By 2021, it is expected to deliver 300 new jobs, support 170 businesses, create 60 new businesses and train 520 people.

Local Growth Minister Jake Berry said: “Ambition Broxbourne Business Centre is a great example of what can be achieved when the Government and Local Enterprise partnerships work together to support local business needs. This initiative encourages business development, inward investment and growth in this local area with significant projects coming forward to deliver thousands of new jobs, homes and provide vital employment space on the edge of London.

“I am delighted that today a further £12.5m capital, from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, is to be made available through Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to support projects that meet its strategic priorities to accelerate business growth in the area.”

Neil Hayes, Executive Director Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “An open call for grant funding enables an optimum number of proposals to be considered that fit most closely with our wider strategic ambitions to accelerate business growth.”

Applicants will need to demonstrate that the proposed projects will leverage significant further investment whether this is in housing, employment, business development or skills output. Organisations from private, public and not-for-profit organisations are eligible to apply, providing the projects are well developed and close to being delivered in 2018.

The deadline for submissions of interest is 12 noon on 18 December. The proposed timeframe is for an initial sift of projects on Friday 22 December before applications are scrutinised by a LEP Chairs Panel on 12th February. Applications will then go to a full LEP Board on 22 March for final approval.

Guidance notes on how to apply including the overall criteria for projects is available to view here.

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About Ambition Broxbourne Business Centre (ABBC)

Ambition Broxbourne is the name of the Council’s economic development strategy comprising a series of aims and actions for improving economic prosperity in the Borough. One of these was the construction of the ABBC.

It comprises 20,000 sq. ft. of work space broken down into offices, studio and workshop units. The Centre was jointly funded by Broxbourne Borough Council (£2.1m) and Herts Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) (£1.8m). 39% of all net profits from the centre going forward will be paid to Herts LEP to be used in a revolving fund that will contribute to economic development in the Borough of Broxbourne until March 31, 2025.

Construction started in February 2016 and the centre was up and running in December of the same year, taking in its first tenants prior to Christmas. Expected outcomes are 300 new jobs created, 20,000 sq. ft. of employment space created, 170 businesses assisted, 60 businesses created and 520 people trained at the centre by March 2021.The centre is currently managed by IWG under their Basepoint brand for the Borough of Broxbourne.

At the end of September the centre was 54.6% occupied, 99 new jobs are located at the centre, 8 new businesses have been created, 58 businesses assisted and 64 people trained.

Find out more about Ambition Broxbourne.

Pictured above from left: Hertfordshire LEP Executive Director Neil Hayes, Local Growth Minister Jake Berry, Leader of Broxbourne Borough Council Mark Mills-Bishop and Charles Walker MP.