Growth Deals: local enterprise partnerships primed to deliver
On 7 July 2014, the government published details of the first wave of Growth Deals, under which £2bn of funding from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) will be allocated to local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) over a six-year period spanning 2015–21.
The LGF formed part of the government’s response to Lord Heseltine’s report ‘No Stone Unturned’. The response, which was contained in ‘Investing in Britain’s Future’ published alongside the Autumn Statement in June 2013, fell short of making available the £49bn (over a four-year period) that Lord Heseltine identified could be delivered to the LEPs to promote economic growth. Instead, it promised to create a single LGF of £2bn per annum commencing 2015–16, with funds being transferred to LEPs from the transport, skills and housing budgets of the relevant central government departments.
LEPs were invited to submit a strategic economic plan outlining their local growth priorities to maximise growth by 31 March 2014 against which allocations from the LGF would be made. In fact, £1.1bn of the LGF has already been committed, leaving only £930m to be allocated competitively for the period 2015–16. However, in response to the high quality of the proposals, the government has made commitments for a further £4bn of funding towards longer-term projects so that they can get under way sooner rather than later. A further £6bn of funding will be announced in future rounds…
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