Marches LEP approves £1.58m injection to support crisis-hit regional economy

May 6, 2020

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership is to inject nearly £1.6m into the regional economy to support tourism and businesses affected by flooding and the coronavirus.
It will be allocated to the LEP’s partners, councils in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, to use as grant support for strategic tourism and business initiatives following consultations with the area’s business boards.
LEP Chair Mandy Thorn MBE said: “Businesses and the tourism sector have been amongst the hardest hit in 2020. First we had the devastation of the floods and then we have a national emergency as we fight coronavirus and its impact on our economy.
“The LEP’s coronavirus survey has revealed that more than 98% of businesses in the Marches have been affected by COVID-19, and tourism & leisure is one of the sectors most severely impacted.
“The LEP Board has voted to use £1.58m of Marches Investment Funds (MIF) to help support those hardest hit over the next six months. We have a duty to support the regional economy and this will be just one step on the road to its recovery.”
The LEP says the three local authorities will be consulting with council leaders and the chairs of the area’s business boards before submitting detailed plans setting out how the funding is to be used in their respective regions. The funding will be allocated according to population, with Herefordshire receiving £444,220; Shropshire £737,722 and Telford & Wrekin £404,557.
Mrs Thorn explained that the majority of the LEP funding was coming from loan repayments from previous job-creating investment projects the partnership had supported.
“MIF was originally a revolving loan funding to allow stalled projects to get back on track with LEP support. We are delighted that loan repayments from these projects can now be re-purposed into supporting tourism and businesses at this difficult time.”
Businesses can still take part on the LEP coronavirus survey at

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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