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Demand for business support remains high in uncertain times

Gareth Yates, Commercial Partner at Ward Hadaway and Roger Marsh, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership look at the investment made in the region's fast-growing businesses.

Roger Marsh, OBE, Chair of the LEP

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) recently released figures that show that even in uncertain economic times, appetite in initiatives that drive business growth remains high.

From April 2018 to the present day, the LEP and its network of partners has invested in businesses through the approval of 856 grants. There is a wide range of support available that helps businesses to start up, innovate new products and services, make capital investments, create jobs, cut costs through resource efficiency, invest in digital and recruit apprentices.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP, said: “We invest in businesses to accelerate their growth. People can be put off by the perception that it’s complicated to apply for this support, but we’ve worked hard to streamline it. These figures demonstrate this.”

Ward Hadaway works closely with businesses to provide legal support and advice on a range of key issues facing such businesses, including securing funding, help with contract negotiations, registering trademarks, employment law advice and debt recovery.

Gareth Yates, Commercial Partner at Ward Hadaway, said: “Investment in the region’s businesses is vital to the growth and wellbeing of Yorkshire’s economy. We are delighted to support fast-growing businesses which will become the engine of the region’s economy.  The annual Fastest 50 awards, demonstrate our commitment to celebrating the success of such businesses.”

Roger added: “It’s great to work with Ward Hadaway to help promote the wide range of support that is available, especially during uncertain economic times. We’re responsive to the needs of businesses. For example, we have recently extended our apprenticeship grant so that more businesses in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield and York can apply for up to £2,500 to help recruit their first apprentice.”

Added to which the LEP has recently launched a new Employment Hub as a commitment to address current and future skills shortages in the region. The free service will assist businesses to fulfil their recruitment needs. The £9 million programme has been funded through the European Social Fund (£4.5m) and has been matched from nine delivery partners’ involved in the scheme.

Commenting on the Employment Hub, Roger said: “Our City Region has a working age population of 1.9 million people, making it the North’s largest and fastest-growing region. We also have the youngest population in the country and Bradford alone has more under 15s than anywhere else – a huge future talented workforce.

“With some 130,000 businesses across the region, I am confident that this service will make a significant impact in improving lives and fulfilling businesses recruitment needs.”

Gareth added: “Ward Hadaway is very keen to collaborate with the LEP to promote the range of initiatives it makes available to local businesses. All too frequently local businesses do not realise that valuable support and resources are available right on their doorstep, and the support that is on offer through the LEP can be of great assistance to businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to continue their growth.

“As a member of the LEP’s Business Investment Panel, I see a broad range of local businesses, just like those in our Fastest 50, applying for funding and it is great to be able to help these local businesses to expand and deliver more value to the local economy.

“However, we would certainly like to see more businesses approach the LEP to seek funding and this applies equally to existing, local businesses and those businesses looking to relocate to the region.”

Ward Hadaway and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) would love to hear from more businesses across the region with the ambition and potential to grow.

For more information, contact Gareth Yates on email Gareth.yates@wardhadaway.com or on 0113 205 6766.

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