START-UP businesses across Staffordshire are being urged to apply for kick-start funding from a Government scheme to help boost local employment opportunities.
Business development projects which may have stalled during the economic downturn could be reignited through the second round of the Growing Places Fund.
Local businesses and the economy will get a £3m boost from the funds allocated to the Stoke and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) who will assess projects and provide loans, hopefully making a difference to selected projects as soon as Spring 2013.
LEP sites and infrastructure chairman Ron Dougan said: “Successful applications will need to demonstrate that they can deliver the very best for our area.
“The fund centres on stimulating projects which may have been lacking the essential infrastructure such as building development, link roads or other communications,” said Mr Dougan.
He said the standard of applications in the previous round was very high and he was expecting the same again from the second round.
“It will be a tough but important task for board members to make the decisions on which projects go forward to the Government as we have to make absolutely sure they will work and can be up-and-running as quickly as possible,” he said.
“We look forward to seeing a high calibre of submissions which will result in maximum employment potential and further funding created to reinvest in the local economy.”
Successful projects need to demonstrate they can generate economic growth in a short space of time with the right infrastructure, will create jobs or housing and provide returns that can be reinvested locally by the LEP in addition to attracting further private investment.
The first round of funding saw £8.5million allocated across the county in projects including a business park in Stafford.
To find out more about the Growing Places Fund visit www.communities .gov.uk/news/corporate/2024658.