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We are one of 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) in England established in 2011 to drive economic growth in Gloucestershire. In partnership with the business community and the public and voluntary sectors, GFirst LEP developed a vision for growing Gloucestershire that by 2022, the county will have ‘world class companies, a diverse business portfolio and a reputation for starting and growing great businesses’.

Find out more about our vision by clicking the Strategic Economic Plan section on the right.

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Our Vision

The Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) for Gloucestershire is an ambitious business plan, outlining how we will grow the economy by 2022 to drive growth of 4.8% GVA per annum, averaged over the period of the plan.

We will do as much as we can to support businesses and develop skills in high-growth sectors, including helping start-ups to grow; as well as maximise the connections and opportunities of the motorway corridor.

To achieve our growth potential, the SEP proposes a Growth Zone, a Growth Hub and a centre of excellence in renewable energy, engineering & nuclear skills. Download the Strategic Economic Plan & appendices, or watch our video to hear more about the aims of the Strategic Economic Plan from our Chief Executive, David Owen.

The SEP was submitted to Government in March 2014 to request Growth Deal funding. In July 2014, we were delighted to learn that we had secured the full £62.5 million of Growth Deal funding we asked for from Government; followed by an additional £15 million in January 2015, all made possible by GFirst LEP working in partnership with the private, public and voluntary sectors to present the best possible case for investment in the county.

Click here to download a summary of the Gloucestershire Growth Deal, or see the next section for details of the projects.

In July 2016, we submitted a bid for further Growth Deal funding to Government. The submission focuses on priorities in four clusters: Business and Innovation, Regeneration, Housing and Skills, and aims to continue on progress already made. The projects included hope to deliver projects that meet a range of local and Government priorities including: national cyber security; unlocking land for housing and employment use; extending skills and Apprenticeships provision to support key industries; innovation; regeneration and transport improvements.

Download the submission here.


GFirst LEP has secured two amounts of funding for Gloucestershire as part of the Growth Deal; 
£62.5 million confirmed in July 2014, which will help to create up to 5000 jobs and generate up to £40 million in public and private investment. This deal is part of a wider Strategic Economic Plan that will lead to 34,000 jobs.
£15 million in January 2015, which will see up to 6000 jobs being created or safeguarded, up to 400 new homes built, as well as the potential to generate up to £220 million in public and private investment within Gloucestershire.
A bid for further funding was submitted in July 2016.
Click here to download a full summary of the Gloucestershire Growth Deal (PDF, 238kb) http://gfirstlep.com/doc_get.aspx?DocID=269 
The £62.5 million allocated in July 2014 includes:
The Growth Hub is a unique partnership between the University of Gloucestershire and GFirst LEP to enable businesses to achieve their true growth potential. The Growth Deal will ensure physical spokes for business access to support services are in place across the county, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) centres deliver quality provision across Gloucestershire, and the funding is in place for the next phase of physical development of the Growth Hub central facility.
The Gloucestershire centre of excellence in Renewable Energy, Engineering & Nuclear skills (GREEN) is a partnership between GFirst LEP and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. GREEN will be a world-class centre of excellence for STEM training, providing workforce development training and apprenticeship opportunities based at the decommissioned Berkeley power station site.
The Growth Zone will further develop the availability of employment land along the M5 corridor in order to attract and retain high value-added businesses by providing valuable space and the necessary transport infrastructure for business expansion. Initial focus will be on development at junction 9 and junction 10 of the M5 and in particular the opportunity provided by the Ashchurch site near Tewkesbury.
In addition Government have confirmed investment in major infrastructure schemes across Gloucestershire:
• £4.36 million will improve the A419 corridor between Stonehouse and the M5
• £1.15 million will improve access to the Berkeley site for the GREEN project
• £4.7 million will ensure the re-development of the Kings Quarter bus station in Gloucester 
• £1 million will develop a robust transport strategy for Lydney
• £1.99 million provisional allocation to repair the Berkeley Bridges, reducing travel times on the A38
• £3.8 million provisional allocation to fund the Cinderford Northern Quarter Link Road• £2 million provisional allocation to upgrade the Gloucester South West bypass
• £1 million provisional allocation to upgrade St Barnabas Roundabout in Gloucester
• £1.6 million provisional allocation to upgrade the B4063 Staverton Bridge junction
The Gloucestershire Growth Deal also ensures that the Highways Agency is committed to working with Gloucestershire County Council to develop a compelling business case to secure funding to address the A417 Missing Link.
The £15 million allocation in January 2015 includes:
Promoting the growth of Gloucestershire Airport by improving key infrastructure at the site. Allocated £550,000.
Investment in the regeneration of the Blackfriars and Quayside areas in Gloucester City Centre for domestic and commercial use.  Allocated £4.13 million.
Support for fledgling agri-tech businesses – high tech incubation facilities to support start-ups and promote innovation at the Royal Agricultural University. Allocated £2.92 million.
Support for retail entrepreneurship – provision of high street incubation space in Gloucestershire. Allocated £400k.
Further additions to the planned Gloucestershire Renewable Energy, Engineering and Nuclear skills centre at Berkeley:
A new Cyber Security Training and Conference Centre to build Gloucestershire’s skills base in this fast-growing sector. Allocated £3 million.
An Advanced Renewable Energy Resource Centre delivering STEM skills development, experimental research and specialist business and domestic market support in renewables. Allocated £4 million.
You can read more about the expanded deal here. http://gfirstlep.com/News/Gloucestershire-Growth-Deal-secures-a-further-15-million-pounds/ 
GFirst LEP has secured two amounts of funding for Gloucestershire as part of the Growth Deal; 

The Gloucestershire Growth Deal comprises of:

£62.5 million confirmed in July 2014, which will help to create up to 5000 jobs and generate up to £40 million in public and private investment. This deal is part of a wider Strategic Economic Plan that will lead to 34,000 jobs.

£15 million confirmed in January 2015, which will see up to 6000 jobs being created or safeguarded, up to 400 new homes built, as well as the potential to generate up to £220 million in public and private investment within Gloucestershire.

A bid for further funding was submitted in July 2016.

The £62.5 million allocated in July 2014 includes:

The Growth Hub is a unique partnership between the University of Gloucestershire and GFirst LEP to enable businesses to achieve their true growth potential. The Growth Deal will ensure physical access to business support services are in place across the county; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) centres deliver quality provision across Gloucestershire; and the funding is in place for the next phase of physical development of the Growth Hub central facility.

The Gloucestershire centre of excellence in Renewable Energy, Engineering & Nuclear skills (GREEN) is a partnership between GFirst LEP and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College. GREEN will be a world-class centre of excellence for STEM training, providing workforce development training and apprenticeship opportunities based at the decommissioned Berkeley power station site.

The Growth Zone will further develop the availability of employment land along the M5 corridor in order to attract and retain high value-added businesses by providing valuable space and the necessary transport infrastructure for business expansion. Initial focus will be on development at Junction 9 and Junction 10 of the M5 and in particular the opportunity provided by the Ashchurch site near Tewkesbury.

In addition Government have confirmed investment in major infrastructure schemes across Gloucestershire:

• £4.36 million will improve the A419 corridor between Stonehouse and the M5

• £1.15 million will improve access to the Berkeley site for the GREEN project

• £4.7 million will ensure the re-development of the Kings Quarter bus station in Gloucester 

• £1 million will develop a robust transport strategy for Lydney

• £1.99 million allocation to repair the Berkeley Bridges, reducing travel times on the A38

• £3.8 million allocation to fund the Cinderford Northern Quarter Link Road

• £2 million allocation to upgrade the Gloucester South West bypass

• £1 million allocation to upgrade St Barnabas Roundabout in Gloucester

• £1.6 million allocation to upgrade the B4063 Staverton Bridge junction

The Gloucestershire Growth Deal also ensures that the Highways Agency is committed to working with Gloucestershire County Council to develop a compelling business case to secure funding to address the A417 Missing Link.

Click here to download a full summary of the Gloucestershire Growth Deal.

The £15 million allocation in January 2015 includes:

Promoting the growth of Gloucestershire Airport by improving key infrastructure at the site. Allocated £550,000.

Investment in the regeneration of the Blackfriars and Quayside areas in Gloucester City Centre for domestic and commercial use.  Allocated £4.13 million.

Support for fledgling agri-tech businesses – high tech incubation facilities to support start-ups and promote innovation at the Royal Agricultural University. Allocated £2.92 million.

Support for retail entrepreneurship – provision of high street incubation space in Gloucestershire. Allocated £400k.

Further additions to the planned Gloucestershire Renewable Energy, Engineering and Nuclear skills centre at Berkeley:

A new Cyber Security Training and Conference Centre to build Gloucestershire’s skills base in this fast-growing sector. Allocated £3 million.

An Advanced Renewable Energy Resource Centre delivering STEM skills development, experimental research and specialist business and domestic market support in renewables. Allocated £4 million.

You can read more about the expanded deal here.

Made possible thanks to £7million of funding including Government support, The Growth Hub is a unique partnership between the University of Gloucestershire and GFirst LEP created to enable businesses in Gloucestershire to maximise their true growth potential.

Taking shape with the development of key business support services, partners and an online portal, the Growth Hub will act as a single point of contact for over 26,000 businesses and new start-ups across the county. Open to all businesses across Gloucestershire, The Growth Hub will provide a range of innovative and tailored services to boost the development of companies that have high-growth potential. It will also fast track entrepreneurial start-ups and increase exports.

The starting point at The Growth Hub, and its most important service, is a free and expert business diagnosis. A dedicated team of business advisors will be able to identify high growth potential businesses for specific targeted support, and help businesses to access existing services provided locally and nationally.

Launched in October 2014, The Growth Hub is based at the University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls Campus in Gloucester, with plans to set up a county-wide presence using existing partnership facilities. Click here for The Growth Hub website.

Below is our EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy which was submitted at the end of January 2014 to Government. The Strategy forms the European Funding part of our economic plans for Gloucestershire and will contribute approx. €41 million to enhance the economy and environment of Gloucestershire between 2014 and 2020.

Our strategy for Gloucestershire fits closely with the three National Operational Programmes;

All calls for funding are currently closed


Closed calls:

Research and Innovation 
This call is looking to promote business investment in research and innovation and to support technological and applied research - Now closed.

Low Carbon
This call is looking  to support the shift to low carbon economy in all sectors and specifically promote energy efficiency and renewable energy use in enterprises and research and innovation in, and adoption of, low-carbon technologies - Now closed.

Enhancing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises – Entrepreneur and Start-up Business Support

This call is looking to enhance the competitveness of small and medium sized enterprises in Gloucestershire specifically though the provision of entrepreneur and start-up business support - Now closed.

Projects put forward under this call must cover all of the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership area.
Up to £500,000 is available through this call. A minimum value of £500,000 of funding can be applied for.
Outline application deadline: 27 May 2016

Enhancing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises – Coaching for high growth potential

This call is looking to enhance the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in Gloucestershire specifically though the provision of coaching for high growth potential enterprises - Now closed.

Enhancing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises – Core Growth Hub services and activities

This call is looking to enhance the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in Gloucestershire specifically though the provision of Core Growth Hub services and activities - Now closed.

Information and Communications Technology funding

This call is focusing on extending broadband deployment and the roll-out of high-speed networks and supporting the adoption of emerging technologies and networks for the digital economy - Now closed.

Environment and Resource Efficiency 
This call is looking to protect and restore biodiversity and soil and promote ecosystem services - Now closed.

Download the document below: