Economic development experts at Focus Consultants have calculated that the £126 million invested in Leicester and Leicestershire through the Local Growth Fund Programme could bring huge economic benefits to the area.

The East Midlands-based company estimates that the potential Return on Investment generated through the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP) investment for the local economy could be over £28 for every £1 invested by the Enterprise Partnership.  This equates to a total impact of £3.5 billion.

Focus was appointed by the LLEP to undertake a Mid Term Evaluation of their Local Growth Fund which aims to drive growth across the area by providing additional funding and leveraging investment to kickstart new homes and space for businesses, support high quality skills and training facilities, and deliver key transport improvements across the city and county.

As part of the evaluation, Focus’s experienced Economic Development Team analysed the impact and value for money of 20 of Leicester and Leicestershire’s flagship regeneration projects, such as Leicester Waterside, MIRA Technology Institute, Melton Livestock Market, Leicester Space Park and various transport infrastructure investment across the city and county including the A511 Corridor around Coalville.

The evaluation particularly focussed on understanding the current and projected long-term impact that the projects will have for the Leicester and Leicestershire economy. The full benefits of some of the schemes supported, such as those which open up housing land, create improved transport links or support business growth, will continue to be felt for years ahead. Using a bespoke economic impact model, Focus was able to profile the longer-term benefits of the schemes for the local economy.

The analysis identified that the new homes brought forward under the scheme could generate an additional £133million for the local economy, the new business floorspace created will be able to hold an additional 7,500 workers, and the investment in Superfast Broadband could benefit the LLEP economy by over £15million additional GVA per year.

Ultimately, Focus calculated the potential return on investment generated through the LLEP’s Local Growth Fund could be over £28 for the local economy for every £1 invested.

Heather Frecklington, Partner of Focus Consultants said: “This has been a really interesting study for Focus Consultants as there haven’t been many evaluations of the Local Growth Fund across the country to date and it’s great to start understanding the impact of such a major investment. The diversity and quality of projects across Leicester and Leicestershire has been really impressive and it’s been fascinating to get to know the projects better.”

Helen Miller, Head of Programmes at the LLEP said: “The purpose of the Local Growth Fund is to drive growth across Leicester and Leicestershire.  We have invested £126m in 20 projects across 4 themes including enhancing transport connectivity, investing in skills infrastructure and business support, extending the availability of superfast broadband and investing in flood risk management.

“The LGF evaluation is a valuable piece of work for the LLEP. It enables us to understand the impacts that have already been realised by the programme and analyse the longer-term benefits we will see in the future. This will help support the development of our strategic plans across the LLEP area.

“We appreciate the hard-work, diligent approach and timely manner in which the team at Focus worked on this.”

Focus Consultants, which is based in Nottingham and has offices in Leicester, Newark and London, is a multi-disciplinary company that specialises in several areas including the securing of funding for projects, economic impact assessments, regeneration strategies, research and feasibility strategies.

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