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Thursday, 24 July 2014

£1m in cheap loans available from the LEP

SMALL and medium-sized businesses in Cumbria can apply for loans of up to £150,000 at an interest rate of only one per cent.

The county’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has £1m available.

Firms with up to 250 employees can apply for loans to fund capital projects that create jobs.

Applicants need to demonstrate that the project is viable, that it can create jobs and a sufficient return to repay the loan. They must also provide security against the value of the loan.

The initiative is being delivered through the Cumbria Infrastructure Fund (CIF), a £6.1m pot from the Government’s Growing Places fund to support growth by unlocking infrastructure developments.

Jackie Arnold, vice chairwoman of Cumbria LEP, and chairwoman of the CIF investment panel, said: “Many Cumbrian small and medium businesses continue to struggle to access the finance they need to grow.

“This initiative should make a real difference to that and start to unlock real growth in jobs.

“Loans will be offered on a first come first served basis – subject to eligibility of course – with the first deadline for applications January 21, and then monthly.”

The fund is a permanent fixture. Once loans have been paid back, the money will be loaned out again.

  • Information on how to apply is on the Cumbria LEP website www.cumbrialep.co.uk.
  • For more information, contact Leanne Beverley on 01228 226628 or email leanne.beverley@cumbria.gov.uk.
  • Help to put together business plans and apply is available through Cumbria Chamber of Commerce’s growth-hub advisers who can also put businesses in touch with other relevant support.
  • Contact Emma Blaney on 0845 226 0040 or email emma@cumbriachamber.co.uk

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