Growing Places Fund

About the fund

The Mayor and the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP) have been allocated £110 million by the Department for Communities and Local Government to promote economic growth and the delivery of jobs and houses. The Mayor has been advised by the LEAP on how to allocate this funding.

In London this Growing Places Fund (GPF) is supporting innovative ways of creating jobs and skills in emerging sectors, supporting growth in business and investment, and increasing productivity. The Fund is also supporting major regeneration projects across the capital, supporting the growth of London’s housing market by unlocking land parcels for development and helping to ensure London’s infrastructure needs are delivered to benefit all Londoners.

Projects which receive investment from GPF must reflect the priorities set out in the LEAP's 'Jobs and Growth Plan' and London 2036: An Agenda for Jobs and Growth.

This fund was allocated in three rounds, in March 2012, May 2013 and February 2016. 

If you are interested in the Growing Places Fund please contact [email protected] or visit the LEAP website for all the latest news.

Information about the grants awarded
The following projects have been successfully funded through the Growing Places Fund:

Games London

The time is right for growing the games sector in London as the capital has a strong unique selling point: its convergence in film, VFX, TV and digital. With the help of mayoral investment in the creative industries, London has built its reputation and capacity as the world leader in visual effects, the third biggest centre for film production, one of the ‘Big Four’ fashion centres, and the world’s design capital. Public intervention can address co-ordination failures which are common across the creative industries ensuring that London does not miss the opportunity for games. The London Games aims to:

  • deliver incremental revenue of at least £35 million for games businesses
  • build London’s reputation as the ‘capital of games’
  • stimulate overseas demand and boost production
  • generate an additional £9.8 million in GVA for the London economy, including the creation of 280 FTE.

Recipient: GLA Culture Team

Award: £1,200,000

Erith Regeneration Programme

Funding to assist the London Borough of Bexley in kick-starting the next phase in the Council’s ambitions for the regeneration of Erith town. The project aims to unlock:

  • 190 residential units
  • 20,000sqft commercial space
  • 103 new jobs

Recipient: London Borough of Bexley

Award: £4,200,000

London Works

The project sought to deliver and demonstrate a new way to tackle graduate unemployment and underemployment in East London by connecting would-be workers, from disadvantaged communities, and corporate employers through mainstream and contract work. The project is now complete and aimed to deliver direct and measurable long-term economic growth through:

  • increased access to private sector employment for disadvantaged communities
  • the setting up of a recruitment agency targetted specifically at supporting low income, disadvantaged people to find employment through assignment work with corporate employers

Recipient: London Business Alliance

Award: £100,000

Export Programme

The Export Programme operated over two years and sought to encourage and support London’s SMEs to trade internationally. The project ended in September 2017 and focused on:

  • businesses generateing new sales as a result of receiving high quality intensive business support and advice from the Programme
  • activities comprised of exhibiting at UK trade fairs, ‘taster’ missions to Europe and in market immersion courses in emerging economies

    a campaign working with organisations close to SMEs to highlight the value of exporting and the support available to SMEs.

Recipient: Greater London Authority

Award: £1,400,000

London Co-investment Fund

Independent research into small businesses has found that, although the capital’s tech sector is thriving, some smaller companies find it difficult to line up new investment to help them expand. Over a three years period the London Co-investment Fund is expected to invest in more than 150 small businesses by providing low cost finance plus spur the creation of up to 2,600 new jobs. The Fund specifically targets small businesses with expertise in the science, technology and digital arenas who have experienced those difficulties. According to the research that is the largest gap in the market for investment.

Recipient: Funding London

Award: £25,000,000

Southall Big Plan

The Southall Big Plan project is a package of interventions to unlock development and increase investment in Southall. This project will deliver key junction improvements to Beaconsfield Road and Merrick Road to relieve congestion and support development, a new foot and cycle bridge and bring forward the development of key sites adjacent to Southall Crossrail station (specifically at Southall Gateway). The investment in this project will support the delivery of more than:

  • 1,000 new homes
  • 5,500m2 of new retail space
  • 4,000m2 of new commercial space

Recipient: London Borough of Ealing

Award: £6,775,000

Hackney Wick Station Improvements

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) will deliver improvements to Hackney Wick station in order to connect the station to the surrounding development sites. Funding for a series of improvements to Hackney Wick Station will:

  • improve journey times and accessibility to the Queen Elizabeth park (particularly iCity)
  • create better connections between iCity, the Olympic Park and Hackney Wick town centre
  • support development of homes and space for business
  • create a new improved arrival point in Hackney Wick
  • support the creation of a new neighbourhood centre (which is anchored by the upgrades to the station).

Recipient: London Legacy Development Corporation

Award: £8,500,000


The MedCity vision is for London and the Greater South East (GSE) to be a world-leading, interconnected region for life science research, development, manufacturing and commercialisation – to deliver health improvements and economic growth. It seeks to:

  • address barriers to growing the life sciences sector in London and the GSE
  • catalyse and enable more research collaborations
  • foster a more entrepreneurial environment within academic and NHS institutions
  • attract significant investment into the sector and region

Recipient: MedCity

Award: £1,125,000

Apprenticeship Programme

The GLA has led a high-profile Apprenticeships Campaign since 2010, which has included marketing and communications activity to drive up awareness and employer perceptions of apprenticeships, joint employer engagement with the National Apprenticeship Service and investment in an enhanced grant for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in London to take on apprentices. This GPF investment was provided to support a range of marketing activity to drive up apprenticeships to the end of the April 2016.

Recipient: Greater London Authority

Award: £2,500,000

GPF Indie Camp

Indie Camp was an accelerator programme for small TV companies. It aimed to enable 15 small TV companies to access international markets and achieve £1m in growth within 18 months. As a targeted project it complements but does not duplicate the Mayor's exports programme, as well as Film London’s work in promoting London for TV productions.

Recipient: Lean Content Ltd

Award: £50,000

Broadband Action Plan (Connectivity rating scheme)

This GPF investment was to support the establishment of a Connectivity Rating Scheme in London. The GLA awarded the provider contract to WiredScore for this project who in turn developed an online platform and operated the scheme. The scheme has successfully rated, or secured agreements with landlords to rate, the connectivity of over 15million sq feet of commercial space in London.

Recipient: WiredScore

Award: £100,000

Digital Careers Roadshow

This GPF investment was allocated to Digital Skills Advantage to support the delivery of the Digital Careers Roadshow project. This aimed to support young jobseekers and train 18-24 year old Jobcentre Plus caseworkers to improve opportunities in the tech sector.

Recipient: Digital Skills Advantage

Award: £50,000

Film London

This GPF investment was provided to enable Film London to continue its work attracting inward investment, increasing sales and exports, enabling film production in the capital and promoting London’s film industry in overseas markets. The funding helped to extend these activities to high end TV and animation.

Recipient: Film London

Award: £750,000

The Cube – Grow On Space

Funding to support Londoneast-uk to purchase a range of scientific equipment to make The Cube building fit for purpose as a dedicated Post-Incubation Centre for emerging scientific companies. Outputs will include:

  • create 58 new jobs
  • supporting 26 SME's
  • unlocking £2,456,000 private investment

Recipient: Londoneast-uk

Award: £500,000

205 Holland Park Avenue

The Holland Park Avenue project will provide a home for private risk capital close to the emerging innovation district of White City by bringing forward a unique and innovative socially-minded workspace and incubator for entrepreneurs and investors. This workspace will deliver long term support and investment into West London’s emerging start-up and SME community by:

  • creating a commercial space
  • supporting businesses to start up
  • creating new jobs

Recipient: The Collective

Award: £586,400

London Science & Technology Cluster map

An online science and technology cluster map for London was created through this project to showcase the number and type of firms across the science and technology sectors. Outputs included two maps - a life sciences map for London and the Greater South East to be hosted on the MedCity website and a second map to be hosted on the LEAP website to cover London’s science and technology sectors as a whole. Both websites include data on turnover and employment.

Recipient: Greater London Authority

Award: £62,000

Early Intervention Fund for London

The London Early Intervention Fund, run by CAN, provides unsecured investment capital at fair commercial rates to social SME’s working in the field of Early Intervention within London. The GPF investment aims to expand the reach of the Fund in terms of: geography, sector and size of onward investments to:

  • create jobs
  • support disadvantaged people into jobs
  • provide Londoners with support in training and skills development
  • assist SMEs in accessing finance

Recipient: CAN

Award: £1,000,000

West Anglia Route Improvements

The Upper Lee Valley comprises some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in London, with high deprivation, low skills and associated high levels of worklessness and low life expectancy.  Despite being an area of significant development potential, growth and private sector investment, the Upper Lee Valley has been constrained, in part due to the low frequency of trains at key stations along the West Anglia route.  The Stratford to Angel Road (STAR) project seeks to address this barrier to growth. The Upper Lee Valley benefits from a range of development sites, including Meridian Water and Northumberland Park. The improvement works of the STAR project (to deliver the provision of better connectivity between Stratford and Angel Road on the West Anglia Route) will contribute to the unlocking of these key development opportunities and facilitate the delivery of thousands of jobs and homes at a scale which maximises the areas. 

Recipient: Transport for London / Network Rail

Award: £30,700,000

Tempus Energy

This project supports a new energy supply business which aims to develop and implement a smart energy business model to optimise energy use for domestic and commercial customers.  This will lead to lower peak demand on electricity networks and enable increased utilisation of existing infrastructure, reducing costs and energy bills. The project will also support the creation of jobs and apprenticeships.

Recipient: Tempus Energy

Award: £250,000

Meridian Water Station (Angel Road)

Angel Road is the closest station to Meridian Water – a major development site in the Upper Lee Valley.  Two constraints to development at Meridian Water are the low frequency of services at Angel Road and the poor accessibility of the station. This project seeks to assist in overcoming these inter-linked constraints and contribute to the unlocking of development at Meridian Water.  The implementation of the Stratford to Angel Road (STAR) rail upgrade project will facilitate the improved frequency of services, whilst the improvements project to Angel Road station will provide a station with far greater accessibility, particularly to Meridian Water. This involves the relocation and upgrading of the station (to be renamed the ‘Meridian Water station). In doing so this project will:

  • provide a new train station
  • assist in the delivery of  thousands of new homes
  • assist in creation of thousands of new jobs
  • improve access to the existing business and residential community

Recipient: London Borough of Enfield

Award: £2,500,000

Barking Riverside

Funding to undertake strategic road infrastructure works. This will provide a critical link to the existing road network and kick start the development of 13 brownfield sites to:

  • support the delivery of 1,214 new homes
  • support the delivery of 10,000m² of commercial, retail and leisure development
  • create 517 jobs

Recipient: London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Award: £10,000,000

Camden Collective Accelerator

This project supported the delivery of jobs and growth in the creative sector through a seed accelerator for creative start-up businesses. It demonstrated the effectiveness of accelerators as a successful model of business support which supports local regeneration and the growth of Camden Town as an employment centre for the creative industry, building on the existing activity of the Collective incubator (funded by the Mayor’s Regeneration Fund). Business support and mentoring sessions were run over a 3 week programme to support creative start-up businesses to develop good business plans. Businesses got the opportunity to pitch for a share of £50,000 loan funding.

Recipient: Camden Town Unlimited

Award: £50,000

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