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Over £1 million in grants awarded to Leicestershire businesses

Published on Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Pic of Helen Kenny

Collaborate for Growth, the Leicestershire business support project has awarded £1.2 million in grant funding to local businesses and created nearly 200 jobs.

To celebrate achievements of the project there will be a free business support, information and networking event on 3 September at King Power Stadium in Leicester.

Collaborate has successfully provided business support, capital grants and an inward investment service to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the last three years. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and partners Leicester City Council – lead partner, Leicestershire County Council, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) and the Food and Drink Forum. Delivery partners also include Winning Moves, Leicestershire Promotions, LCB Depot and Creative Leicestershire.

The three-year project has also provided 2,760 hours of intensive business support to 230 SMEs, run approximately 181 workshops with 1,950 delegates and leveraged £2.4 million in private sector investment.

Sector specific business advice, themed workshops and grants have helped growing businesses in eight core sectors, identified as priorities for growth by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnerships (LLEP) including: food and drink manufacturing, creative industries, textile manufacturing, logistics and hospitality, professional and financial services, low carbon and engineering and advanced manufacturing.

One of the businesses supported by Collaborate is interior designer and seller of vintage furniture K+G Curated Space. Director, Helen Kenny said: “We were put in touch with Bev at Creative Leicestershire who has helped us put together a business plan. Our challenge was that although we had created a customer base in London, we needed to connect with the local market. With one-to-one support from Bev we were helped to identify and target a local audience by putting on events.

“The support has certainly helped our growth. The events have given us income and the confidence to carry on and do more. To have that extra support and someone there to bounce ideas off or just pinpoint where we are trying to get to, and how to get there, gave us what we needed. Because of Collaborate we are on the map more than we were and we’ve had a growth in followers."

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to visit local business that have been supported by the Collaborate project and have seen for myself the huge benefits that this can have.

“Backed by over £3m of EU money, the scheme is helping to provide a real boost to our economic action plan. By supporting business growth, it is having a positive impact on the local jobs market and helping to build further investor confidence in the city.”

The event on 3 September will highlight these achievements and also signpost businesses to the new enhanced service from the Business Gateway Growth Hub including details about the new Growth Hub capital grant, together with support available from other providers in Leicestershire. Any business interested in attending should visit