Marches LEP capital fund delivers £600,000 support

March 14, 2024

A major new capital investment fund delivered by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has awarded more than £600,000 to organisations across the region.

Six successful schemes will receive a total of £612,793 from the LEP’s Capital Project Fund to help them deliver projects which boost business, build skills and employability and drive the move to Net Zero.

Marches LEP chief executive Rachel Laver said the fund had received 37 applications worth a total of more than £3million before it closed, showing the need for continued support to help get capital projects off the ground.

“We received applications from right across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin for the fund, which shows that there is a real appetite among the business community to build, innovate and play their full part in the move to a Net Zero economy.

“The fund was specifically targeted at projects which will help build the high-skilled and sustainable economy the Marches will need, as well as promoting long-term growth.”

The six successful applicants are:

  • AceOn. The Telford-based battery and renewable energy specialist received £60,000 towards the creation of a global Net Zero Portable Energy storage manufacturing and assembly centre, and worldwide franchise model showcase.
  • Fownhope Parish Council. The Herefordshire council received £3,509 to install two EV charging points in the car park of the village hall.
  • Harper Adams University. An award of £143,942 will help the Edgmond-based university buy the specialist equipment it needs to offer microbiological testing services to small businesses in the food industry.
  • O3T Ltd. The specialist biotech and nanotech company, which is based near Market Drayton, was awarded £28,630 to support the development of an innovative management system to reduce the environmental impact of poultry farming and improve efficiency.  The learnings from the scheme will be able to be disseminated nationally once completed.
  • Shrewsbury Colleges Group. The group was awarded £235,000 for the refurbishment of existing plumbing and electrical classrooms and technical workshops to bring them up to industry standard, enabling apprentices and students to study with latest innovative and digital resources, helping to address the skills shortages in these key trades.
  • Telford College. The college was awarded £141,712 to help upgrade its Automotive Engineering Centre to add equipment for the maintenance of Hybrid/ Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and Electric Vehicles (EVs) as well as other potential developments including hydrogen.  

Rachel added: “We are delighted that, even as the Marches LEP winds down, we have been able to continue our mission to drive forward our economy, help develop innovation and skills and support the need to cut emissions and improve sustainability.

“Each of these awards will play their own important role in that mission and we wish them every success as they build for the future.”

Following decisions by the government, The Marches LEP is being wound down with many of its responsibilities transferring to the three unitary councils in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin on April 1.

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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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