A host of new accelerator programmes are to be run in Leicester, thanks to a successful bid to Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund (CRF).

The East Midlands Accelerator, led by the East Midlands Chamber, will be delivered in conjunction with local authorities, universities and other business support services in Leicester.

It includes a Start-Up to Scale-Up Accelerator, Digital Transformation Accelerator, Kickstart Accelerator, Financial Accelerator and a Race to Zero-Carbon Accelerator.

The Race to Zero Carbon Accelerator programme will be based at the Leicester Innovation Hub and will provide Leicester City small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a fully funded direct sustainability support package to help businesses reach net zero.

Dr Sandra Lee, Social Impact Lead at the University of Leicester, explained:

“This programme brings students, businesses and academics together to share expertise and resources to tackle the climate crisis. It is an exciting development to our award-winning Innovation for Good Programme as well as building on our hugely successful environmental sustainability collaboration with De Montfort University and other partners.”

Rajinder Bhuhi, Innovation Hub Manager, added:

“Super proud of the ‘Innovation for Good Programme’ which was co-created by colleagues within the Social Impact and Leicester Innovation Hub Teams. The support from CRF will provides a further boost to Leicester based businesses in working together with students and both gaining the help, knowledge and experience of reaching net zero.” 

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22 which aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.