Growing Places Fund

Growing Places is a £20m commercial investment initiative aimed at removing barriers to site development by addressing immediate infrastructure and site constraints to promote the delivery of jobs and housing.

The LEP is one of only a few Local Enterprise Partnerships in England to have fully committed its GPF allocation of £20m, as a revolving commercial fund.

The fund has leveraged an initial £100m of public/private investment but more importantly it will be responsible for the creation of 3,000 new jobs and 150 new homes.

The LEP is looking to continually invest in development schemes and co-invest with other private, public and institutional investors to deliver new business growth, jobs and housing in Lancashire.

It’s a straightforward, government-backed proposition that enables developers to get projects over final funding obstacles.

The idea is to deliver job-creating developments across Lancashire that are being held back by short term funding issues.

Growing Places invests in house-building, commercial developments and infrastructure schemes needing short term loans on commercial terms.

Making projects happen

The Burnley Bridge Business Park development is a great example of how Growing Places operates. A £2.4 million loan means a bridge and access road has been built across the Leeds-Liverpool canal, linking the site directly to the M65. This is vital to making the business park work – and when fully occupied, it will generate around 1,400 sustainable new jobs.

Nor does the process end when schemes are delivered. Funding received back into Lancashire Enterprise Partnership is reinvested in other local schemes. It’s about recycling investment finance to have the maximum positive impact on the county’s economic growth.