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Funding schemes aim to provide lift-off for new generation of business innovators

Leeds City Council’s Innovation@Leeds programme is making vital funding support available to help unleash the talents of a new generation of entrepreneurs and bold business thinkers.

A total of around £600,000 is set to be distributed to successful bidders through two different Innovation@Leeds grant schemes – capital and revenue.

The capital grants – provisionally ranging in size from £50,000 up to £150,000 – will support the creation of high-quality in-person workspaces tailored to suit the needs of innovators, entrepreneurs and those running early-stage or small businesses.

These collaboration-friendly facilities will be in locations outside the city centre, bolstering the council’s inclusive growth ambitions and helping to ensure that local neighbourhoods are places of vibrant economic activity with opportunities for all.

Organisations bidding for the capital grants must be able to show a willingness and an ability to work with the kind of innovative businesses and diverse founders that will be using the facilities.

The revenue grants, meanwhile, will support the delivery of events, mentoring activity and partnership projects that will strengthen Leeds’s innovation ecosystem and raise its local and international profile.

Whereas the capital grants are focused on creating physical facilities and resources, this scheme will concentrate on giving aspiring innovators – drawn from a diverse range of communities – access to assistance that will improve their investability and help them realise the full potential of their business ideas.

The revenue grants – ranging in size from £5,000 to £25,000 – will build on the success of a pilot scheme that funded a number of conferences and knowledge-sharing events earlier this year.

Bidders should be able to demonstrate a proven track record in providing development support for innovation-led businesses and finding new ways to engage with diverse audiences.

Innovation@Leeds was launched last year to help ensure that people from different backgrounds have the means to make the most of their talents in fields such as digital and other emerging technologies.

The new grants also reflect the council’s vision for encouraging and driving innovation in a way that will bring about a healthier, greener and more inclusive future for Leeds and the wider world – see here for further details.