By Daniel Hunter

Local organisations working with small firms will now be able to apply for a share of funding from the latest round of the European Regional Development Fund.

The funding looks to support innovation, boost small businesses, and create local jobs to help communities thrive.

Local firms will benefit from £2.6 billion funding dedicated entirely to help nurture growth.

Local Growth and Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton said:

“This funding will give the places a chance to contribute more to the national economy and unlock local potential. It will ensure we can build up local economies around the country.

We want local partners to come forward with how they want to use this money to drive forward their economy. As part of our long-term economic plan this money will provide a big boost to businesses and help create numerous jobs locally that will also benefit people living in towns and villages nearby.”

The new programme is built from the local priorities of England’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnership areas who know best what is needed to boost growth locally. All funding decisions will be taken within this framework.

The main priorities of the European Regional Development Fund programme are research and innovation, supporting and promoting small to medium sized enterprises and the creation of a low carbon economy.