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Newspaper teams up with uni to hand out £1m

A weekly newspaper has teamed up with its local university to secure a £1m fund to give to growing businesses.

The Lincolnshire Echo and University of Lincoln joined forces to bid for the cash under the government’s Regional Growth Fund initiative.

Now they will have the job of distributing the cash which they estimate will create 130 new jobs.

Firms will be invited to apply for cash handouts of between £25,000 and £150,000, which can be used to fund schemes that create employment and stimulate growth.

Applicants will then have to appear in front of a judging panel – made up of representatives from the University, the Echo, the Co-op, local banks and professional advisors.

Lincolnshire Echo editor Steven Fletcher said the paper was proud to be part of the project.

He said:  “This is fantastic news for the city of Lincoln and the people who live and work here.

“The regional growth fund was set up to stimulate economic growth and generate sustainable employment and this is exactly what our plans will do in the city.

“More than 300 bids were made for a slice of this cash and to be among those which were successful is excellent.

“The Lincolnshire Echo is proud to be part of the legacy that this innovative project will leave behind.”

Echo managing director Richard Duxbury added: “Lincolnshire Media is a local firm which understands the current financial pressures faced by small businesses in our city.

“This money will ease some of that burden and will allow genuine entrepreneurial spirit to flourish.”

Andrew Stevenson, director of research and enterprise at the University of Lincoln, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for the city.

“Without the Lincolnshire Echo’s support, our bid would not have been possible. The Echo is a key partner in this project – one that will make a huge difference to our city.”