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Economic Partnership launches £8 million business growth loan scheme

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Work on the Woods Group HQ is underwayWork on the Woods Group HQ is underwayAn £8 million loan fund for capital projects in Swindon and Wiltshire is being opened to applicants today (Wednesday, March 28).

Managed by Swindon and wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the Growing Places Infrastructure Fund loan programme is a capital-only fund used to invest in infrastructure projects that deliver sustainable economic growth within the area.

It is a repayable loan to support projects that will create new jobs. These projects may have been stalled or need extra funding in order to "tip the balance" and accelerate delivery.

Businesses can make applications from £750,000 up to around £2m in support of capital projects that help stimulate innovation, enterprise, growth or productivity gains.

GPIF is a ‘revolving loan fund’ which offers negotiable terms for repayment and a straightforward two-stage application process. Stage one comprises an online application form which will be independently assessed before consideration by the SWLEP Board, and is expected to take three weeks from the closing date for applications.

Stage two focuses on developing more detailed business information on issues such as project costs and procurement. This second stage is expected to take three weeks from the date of submission of the detailed business information to the final decision.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, May 4 and projects are expected to be initiated this year and completed by March 2021.

In March 2018, charity sector specialists Woods Group – specialist fundraising services – was awarded a £1.279m Growing Places Infrastructure Fund (GPIF) loan towards the construction of Lansdowne House, its new HQ building at the Bumpers Farm Trading Estate in Chippenham.

Construction is due to be completed in July 2018. The investment will allow the consolidation of their current six sites to a single 50,000 sq ft facility expected to create capacity for 200 jobs in the local economy.

John Lowndes, Director, commented “We are delighted to have been awarded the loan from the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, without which our construction plans would have been delayed.”

For more information, or to submit an application, visit https://swlep.co.uk/programmes-swlep/growing-places-infrastructure-fund