LOCAL GROWTH FUND MID-TERM EVALUATION
The SYMCA LEP was awarded a total of £363.7m of devolved funding through three Growth Deals with Government to invest in projects across the nine local authority areas between April 2015 and March 2021. This funding is known as the Local Growth Fund (LGF).
The LGF programme consists of a range of different funding streams including major scheme transport funding, skills capital funding and business investment funding.
The purpose of the LGF programme is to fund projects that will deliver the SYMCA’s strategic priorities, objectives and targets outlined in the SYMCA’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) 2015-2025. The SEP targets are:
- To grow the economy by 10% (or £3.1bn) between 2014 and 2024
- To create 70,000 net new jobs by 2024, with 30,000 to be highly skilled
- To generate 6,000 new business start-ups by 2024
So far, the LGF has funded the following initiatives and projects:
- Infrastructure Programme – Between 2015 and 2021 we are investing £230 million in infrastructure development including vacant land and property redevelopment into new commercial and retail premises, new link roads such as the Great Yorkshire Way in Doncaster and Superfast South Yorkshire Broadband.
- Business Investment Fund – A £52 million fund helping indigenous and re-locating businesses with the potential for growth to plug finance gaps which can’t be met through traditional finance sources.
- Growth Hub – A single access point where business owners can obtain advice and support on starting-up, running and growing their business. Support available through the Growth Hub includes assistance with skills and training, innovation and exporting and advice on financing a business.
- Skills Bank – A demonstrator project where employers co-invest in the training and skills support they need for their business to drive growth. SCR investment is matched against investment from employers.
- Skills Capital Fund – A £28m investment in the development of state-of-the-art training facilities and equipment across the Sheffield City Region.
- Housing Fund – a pilot scheme to help private housing developers and housing associations to unlock sites for development and build more homes in the Sheffield City Region.
We need to undertake an analysis of the operation, delivery, achievements and impact of the LGF programme to date, in achieving the SEP priorities, objectives and targets.
We would expect the following analysis to be undertaken as a minimum:
- A review of all external evaluation commissioned by SYMCA for major projects e.g. the Growth Hub, to identify issues and achievements
- Analysis of financial, output and outcome performance data for a cross section of completed LGF funded projects
- Analysis of financial, output and outcome performance data for the LGF programme to date
- Identification of common issues that have contributed to project delays, under-performance or over-achievement