Ministers hand œ500m pot to LEPs

Author: Allister Hayman LGC   |  

Ministers have bowed to pressure and made funding available directly to the government’s flagship local enterprise partnerships.

As revealed by LGC last week, communities secretary Eric Pickles has agreed a deal with ministers to allocate the government’s new œ500m Growing Places Fund directly to England’s 38 local enterprise partnerships.

The fund was unveiled at the Liberal Democrat party conference in September, with chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander (Lib Dem) stating that it would be used to ?kickstart developments that are currently stalled? and ?deliver key infrastructure and create jobs?.

Mr Pickles announced today the money would be allocated directly to LEPs to take forward a range of projects that could help boost economic growth in their local area.

Since LEPs were launched last year they have been criticised for lacking the funding that could attract private investment and help them drive growth.

But ministers have now sought to address this by sharing out the œ500m pot between the 38 LEPs, with allocations based on population and employment data.

Greater London, with œ39.4m, receives the most cash, followed by the South East of England LEP (œ32.5m), Greater Manchester(œ24.7m) and the Leeds City Region (œ24m).

The smallest award is œ3.7m to the Worcestershire LEP, with the average allocation around œ12m (see full allocations below).

Mr Pickles said LEPs could use the cash to establish ?revolving funds? to take forward a range of investment projects that would provide returns that could be re-invested.

He said LEPs would decide on how their allocation would be used, with councils providing technical and financial expertise.

He said: ?It will be local enterprise partnerships, made up of the people and businesses who know their local areas best, who will decide where this cash boost will be spent.

?I now want to see these partnerships coming together and finding innovative ways to unlock local sites and help get Britain building again.?

With the government coming under fire for it slow progress in releasing cash from the regional growth fund, with only two businesses receiving cash some seven months after the allocations were announced, Mr Pickles vowed that the monies for LEPs would all be allocated from the end of January.

The Department for Communities & Local Government said types of projects could include:

Early development of strategic link roads and access works to unlock major mixed-use developments, enabling the delivery of homes and commercial space – leading to the creation of jobs and securing private investment;
Provision of flood storage capacity to enable development of homes, employment space and retail space; and
Works to improve local connectivity and reduce congestion through interventions such as extending dual carriageways, enabling developments to be taken forward sustainably.
Mr Alexander, said: ?This is a flexible fix-it fund that will make a real difference on the ground, improving the lives of local residents and boosting the local economy.

?From building strategic link roads to reducing congestion, the investment will set businesses free and create jobs.?

œ500million Growing Places Fund – provisional allocations to local enterprise partnerships

Below is a table of the provisional allocations – LEPs must now submit proposals for their allocations, outlining how they plan to use the funding on local infrastructure projects.

Greater London 39,445,808
South East 32,553,542
Greater Manchester 24,739,591
Leeds City Region 23,991,391
Derby-Nottingham 17,466,313
North East 16,712,905
Coast to Capital 15,083,882
Greater Birmingham and Solihull 14,932,970
Enterprise M3 14,435,316
Heart of the SW 14,263,733
South East Midlands 13,100,217
Liverpool City Region 12,979,358
Lancashire 12,879,177
Sheffield City Region 12,307,688
New Anglia 12,046,767
Solent 12,008,783
West of England 11,324,861
Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough 10,664,599
Thames Valley Berkshire 10,649,405
Hertfordshire 10,078,517
Black Country 9,619,452
Leicester & Leicestershire 8,896,731
Cheshire and Warrington 8,751,074
Coventry and Warwickshire 8,519,680
Stoke and Staffordshire 7,611,590
Lincolnshire 6,493,608
Dorset 6,392,150
Swindon and Wiltshire 6,218,540
York and North Yorkshire 6,217,647
Oxford City Region 5,996,797
Humber 5,816,714
Tees Valley 5,694,058
Gloucestershire 5,638,139
The Marches 5,438,945
Cumbria 4,440,917
Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly 4,211,133
Buckinghamshire 4,167,713
Northamptonshire 3,925,692
Worcestershire 3,667,852
No LEP 616,743
England 449,999,998

Allocations do not sum to œ450m due to rounding. œ50m is to go to the Devolved Administrations

Source: Department for Communties & Local Government

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