LEP case study: Thames Valley Berkshire in focus

Claiming to be the UK's economic powerhouse, find out more about what TVB is doing to support small businesses...

Area: Bracknell Forest, Reading Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham
Chairman: Peter Read
Website: thamesvalleyberkshire.co.uk

Thames Valley Berkshire claims to be the UK’s economic powerhouse contributing over £34bn in GVA to the economy. It says it acts as a “crucial engine of growth, both for the area and the UK, and focuses its interventions to add value where they can help enterprise to flourish”.

It consists of 10 executive directors who are nominated from borough councils and education and business sectors to determine strategy and direction.

The LEP has also allocated forum representatives to head up specific areas such as education, local authority and business. Richard Knight of the Federation of Small Businesses and Eddie Curzon of the CBI are among the representatives for business.

Funding

To date Thames Valley Berkshire LEP has allocated £140m of public funds (UK and EU) to deliver economic growth initiatives in Thames Valley Berkshire. This funding includes £107m from The Local Growth Fund and £15m from The Growing Places Fund.

Projects

The LEP’s investment has been put toward a number of initiatives, including:

  • Helping to create a new generation of businesses through a dedicated £7.25m Funding Escalator, which offers repayable loans to start-ups and growing businesses
  • Investing in superfast broadband infrastructure
  • Funding three town centre regeneration schemes
  • Working with ConnectTVT to raise the profile of tech innovators and accelerating the growth of digital businesses in the Thames Valley.

The Funding Escalator is divided into four schemes to support businesses at various stages:

TVB Commercialisation Loan Scheme can provide up to £50,000 by way of a loan to start-ups and early-stage small businesses that have generated some sales and need a step change for growth.

TVB Expansion Loan Scheme can provide up to £200,000 to established businesses small and medium businesses requiring finance to deliver growth.

TVB Trade Finance Loan Scheme can provide between £25,000 to £200,000 in funding to small and medium businesses with a short-term loan requirement.

TVB Growth Fund is able to provide up to £250,000 equity investment in high-growth small and medium businesses. The investment must be matched by an equal amount of private investment.

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