The government is expanding its growth investment programme

The government is expanding its growth investment programme

The government has announced plans to expand the Growth Deals programme with an extra £1 billion of investment in local economies

The government is expanding its growth investment programme 1

The Growth Deals programme combines all the funding provided by the government to England’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) – including allowances for infrastructure, housing and social improvement – into one single lump sum, thus giving each LEP more control over where they invest their funding.

The LEPs operation has been a great success since its inception in 2011. and local authorities in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Greater Manchester, Leeds City Region, North Eastern, Sheffield City Region, and West of were the first to get ‘city deals’ in 2012, while Growth Deals were first announced in July last year.

It is believed that the devolution of powers and amalgamation of funding provided to LEPs will help them to target the areas that require the most attention, and thus help not only the local community, but also the country’s economy as a whole.

Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all,” said Prime Minister .

“That’s what Growth Deals are all about, backing local people and investing in the infrastructure, housing and skills that will drive forward local economies, create more jobs and opportunities for hardworking people and supercharge all parts of our country.”

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A number of projects have already been announced, many of which will benefit businesses: Greater Birmingham and Solihull are investing £8.7 million in training facilities to tackle the skills shortages problem; A total of £25 million has been raised to fund the creation of a National Maritime Systems Centre of Excellence in Portsmouth, which will improve the nation's maritime capabilities and exports; Nottingham University will develop a £5 million Institute for Advanced Manufacturing.

The government predicts that over 400,000 jobs could be created, according to the Growth Deals interactive map.

“This expansion of Growth Deals with another £1 billion of projects is very welcome and a further vote of confidence in LEPs and in the importance of local decisions setting the priorities for ,” said Alex Pratt, Chair of the LEP Network Management Board. “The partnership of local business and local authorities continues to strengthen as more responsibilities are passed to them and LEPs remain focused on delivering these projects for the benefit of local communities.”

Businesses will also benefit from proposed investment in housing, broadband and infrastructure as jobs are created, travel is improved and internet access becomes faster and more reliable.

February 2015