FUNDING of £1.5 million has been given to the University of York to help aid growth of Yorkshire based businesses.

The grant, awarded to a department within the University of York, has been designed to help the county's businesses which specialise in products and services relating to renewable and biological resources.

The funding will allow the Biorenewables Development Centre, a subsidiary of the university, to offer around 80 pre-funded projects for select businesses across the Yorkshire county's including North Yorkshire by 2020.

Joe Ross director of the Biorenewables Development Centre said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for local companies to get support to develop innovative products or processes in an exciting high growth sector."

The university said Yorkshire had a large and thriving bio economy.

According to government figures, it is estimated that the country's bio economy is worth around £220 billion gross value added and the sector is responsible for more than 5 million jobs.