Karl McCartney MP Calling all SMEs: “Very positive” first meeting of the Lincoln Growth Fund Steering Group

This morning the Lincoln Growth Fund Steering Group held its first meeting. With the overarching aim of job creation, the Lincoln Growth Fund have a funding pot of just under £1m available to support the City’s local businesses (postcodes LN1 to LN6) to achieve their expansion and growth plans, creating sustainable new jobs.  The Fund will support around 20 businesses through grants of between £20,000 and £100,000 and is intended to enable business growth through the delivery of specific projects.

The Steering Group was set up after the University of Lincoln, in partnership with the Lincolnshire Echo and Lincolnshire Co-operative, and with the continued support of Lincoln’s Member of Parliament, Karl McCartney MP, (who put a strong case and pressure on Ministers at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), were successful in their bid for a substantial allocation from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund to establish the Lincoln Growth Fund. This Fund will benefit Lincoln businesses from up to £1 million of funding to create new jobs and grow the local economy.

Having secured professional experienced representation on the Lincoln Growth Fund’s Investment Appraisal Panel (IAP) – which is the body responsible for appraising applications to the Fund and determining whether to award grant funding – the Lincoln Growth Fund Steering Group has now also been established.  With a membership of eight, the Steering Group is Chaired by Professor Mary Stuart, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lincoln, and includes Steven Fletcher, the Managing Director of Lincolnshire Media and consists of a mix of business and political representation. The Steering Group receive management information from both the Fund’s Investment Appraisal Panel and the Programme Team in relation to the performance and delivery of the Fund and the objectives they have set themselves and agreed with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The Steering Group will now meet on a quarterly basis and receive updates on grants awarded and progress against the Lincoln Growth Fund’s delivery plans until October 2015, at which point it will review final delivery and outputs from the Fund, which formally closes at the end of May 2015. There is every intention to secure further funding from RGF Round 6, applications for which will be invited in the summer of this year, and the voluntary Steering Group and IAP members are looking forward to assisting local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in their aims of expanding their business opportunities and employment potential.

Karl McCartney MP said:

“I am pleased to confirm that this morning’s meeting was very positive and that we have had a strong pipeline of applications developing for formal consideration. It is an experienced and eclectic group to be a part of too.

“It was also particularly interesting for the Steering Group to hear this morning from a successful grant awardee, Kelly Evans, the Managing Director of Social Change UK, with regard to her experiences through the application process and beyond, as well as how the Fund is directly assisting both Kelly and her already well-established business.”