Partnership welcomes autumn statement�s boost for LEPs and local growth

05/12/12

The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has welcomed measures to boost local growth announced in the government’s autumn statement.

In particular the Partnership welcomes plans to give LEPs greater powers and real, significant budgets to deliver against their growth ambitions, in line with the recommendations of the Lord Heseltine Review.

Neil McLean, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP, commented:

“We are delighted that the government has shared our positive assessment of the Heseltine report with its proposals to devolve greater powers and significant funding to LEPs. We agree that local leaders and businesses are best placed to set a strategic direction for our City Region, and are ready to seize the challenge of determining our own economic destiny.

“Although we’ve already made good progress as a LEP– we’ve agreed an ambitious City Deal with government, helped businesses secure over £60m from the Regional Growth Fund, and were the first LEP to launch a strategic economic plan for our area in consultation with business and local partners - the measures outlined in the autumn statement will have a transformative impact on our ability to deliver growth and jobs for our businesses and residents.”

Key elements of the autumn statement welcomed by the LEP are:

  • the cementing of LEPs’ central role in developing a strategic plan for local growth, working closely with chambers and other local partners
  • significant, flexible budgets for LEPs to deliver their strategic priorities, including a competitive fund for capacity-building and new single funding pot arrangements for local areas from April 2015
  • a further £350m towards the Regional Growth Fund to help businesses grow and create jobs
  • a new strategic role for LEPs in setting skills strategies to ensure that skills provision meets local priorities and the needs of business
  • additional investment to accelerate local infrastructure projects
  • an extra £120m for the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chains Initiative

The LEP looks forward to working with the government and local partners on the detail and implementation of these proposals.