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North Yorkshire – the land of opportunity

At a time where confidence in the Northern Powerhouse is growing and our neighbours in South and West Yorkshire have successfully attained devolution deals, the business landscape looks encouraging for North Yorkshire.

The impressive results of our North Yorkshire’s Top 50 SMEs add testament to this; but what help is available to support these businesses in further accelerating their growth and for businesses striving to make it into next year’s survey?

The York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding Local Economic Partnership (LEP) aims to support local businesses to grow and become more competitive.

The LEP is responsible for the dissemination of two key pots of money; the Growing Places Fund, for capital infrastructure project development costs, and the European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF), which as part of the Government’s Growth Programme for England has allocated the LEP £93.24 million for 2014 to 2020.

The first ESIF calls are currently open for business support and for research and innovation in the bioeconomy, with close to £13 million funding available in this round.

The bioeconomy is highly relevant to North Yorkshire as it is applicable to our core industries. It includes the production of renewable biological resources, the conversion of these resources into food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy, in addition to technologies provided by Industrial Biotechnology. The two most profitable industries featured in our Top 50 survey are the food industry and the machinery, equipment & electrical industry. Both of these have the potential to feed into the bioeconomy. Investment in this area can only serve to increase the regions’ profitability even further.

The LEP’s Strategic Economic plan outlines how its three key initiatives – investment in business, skills, and infrastructure – will bring about 20,000 new jobs, £1 billion of private sector investment and 13,000 homes. Part of this is through the development of a Growth Hub built on a partnership between business networks, universities, the LEP and professionals.

It seems that business owners in the North Yorkshire region are currently in the right place at the right time to find the support that they need to achieve their ambitions.

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