'Humber area is a vital asset for nation'
BUSINESSES across the Humber region are being urged to tap in to more than £7 million worth of Government funding that has been made available.
A total of £8 million was allocated to the region in January this year as part of the Government's Growing Places Fund, but less than £700,000 has been spent.
Lord Haskins, chairman of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) warned business leaders that failure to use the remaining £7.345 million could impact upon future funding for the LEP.
Speaking at a business forum event at Forest Pines, near Brigg, Lord Haskins said: "This will help to bring real jobs in the next five years.
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"In the Humber area, we have real available space for development.
"The Humber estuary is a vital national asset and I really do believe that by working together we can do something with this under-utilised estuary.
"One of our priorities is to attract investment to the estuary, both outward and inward."
Stephen Savage, Humber LEP Investment Board member, explained the criteria of businesses that can benefit from the funding.
Applications must be for no less than £100,000, with no upper limit in place.
The money must also be repaid within five years.
The fund can be used for almost all aspects of capital development projects, from infrastructure, flood defence work and building, all the way through to capital machinery, interiors and landscaping, where potential for job creation is clearly demonstrated.
Mr Savage said: "The project must create jobs and contribute to the Humber economy.
"This is money that we are prepared to take more of a risk with than a commercial bank would.
"If we spend this money in the Humber region on well researched projects we may well get more funding in the future that will be to everyone's benefit.
"The scheme will only be a success if we actually allocate the money, therefore we urge people to come forward with their projects as soon as possible."
Applications must be submitted before November 23 with an appraisal of projects taking place on December 14.
Projects will then be shortlisted in the week commencing December 17.
An investment decision by the LEP will be made on February 22 next year.