LEP commits £7.25m to escalator fund

Thu 24 January 2013, 5:19 pm

Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is designating £7.25 million to help create next-generation businesses in the sub-region.

The so-called "escalator fund" will offer finance to small and medium sized enterprises to drive job creation and boost strategic infrastructure.

The repayable loans go live from 1 February and break down into designated pockets of spending that include the £1.75 million Commercialisation Fund, aimed at helping newly-established firms enhance their market position; the £4 million Expansion Fund designed to help businesses accelerate their growth; and the £1.5 million Growth Fund, designed to match private-equity funding to support ambitious growing businesses.

LEP chair Steve Lamb said the escalator fund package was put together following many months of consultation with businesses in the subregion.

“It is designed to provide finance to a range of businesses from start-ups to the more established, looking for funding which is difficult to obtain from more traditional sources,” he said.

“Only businesses that are viewed to have the potential to deliver significant growth and employment opportunities for Thames Valley Berkshire will be considered, as this scheme is all about growing and empowering the local economy.”

The £7.25 million fund will be managed by not-for-profit Community Interest Company FSE Group.

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