Millions to help business

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Millions of pounds has been earmarked to help boost business in the Skegness and Spilsby areas.

Firms will be entitled to bid for the funding, which looks set to be made available in the spring of next year.

Five groups - including one covering East Lindsey and another the coast - have received an indicative allocation of about £8 million.

This money comes from the LEADER programme, which delivers funding from the EU and Defra.

In this area it would be handed out via the Coastal Local Action Group and the Lindsey Local Action Group.

East Lindsey District Council leader Coun Doreen Stephenson said: “This is great news for businesses and community development in East Lindsey.

“We are set to share around £2 million of funding with West Lindsey and look forward to February when we will receive confirmation of the exact amount awarded.

“Around £1.4 million will also be awarded to Lincolnshire’s Coastal areas.”

LEADER is still working towards a final agreement with the European Commission but it is hoped contracts will be signed next spring which in turn is expected to open up a bidding process.

The funding will be used to support micro and small businesses, increasing farm productivity, tourism, cultural and heritage activity amongst other areas.

Coun Colin Davey, executive member for economic development at the county council, said: “Lincolnshire is a predominantly rural county, and programmes like this are vital for supporting our small businesses.”

He added: “Under the new programme 70 per cent of all projects must directly support jobs and growth. In addition, the remaining 30 per cent will also need to demonstrate their contribution to improving the rural economy. And that’s very welcome news for all of Greater Lincolnshire.”

Simon Beardsley, chief executive of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This funding means that areas that may not normally benefit from funding, will be able to develop their rural tourism, small business and farm diversification, rural services and cultural heritage activity.

“Local businesses have a greater knowledge of the local challenges that need to be addressed, and the LEADER approach places them in a position to access the relevant resources and develop opportunities available for their individual communities.”