GOVERNMENT plans to boost the role of local enterprise partnerships have been welcomed by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Autumn Statement highlighted the key role LEPs and their local partners are playing in delivering local growth.

In the statement Mr Osborne said LEPs are being given responsibility to develop growth plans for their local areas.

In addition a single funding pot for growth will be created for local areas from April 2015, with spending aligned to the LEP growth plans.

Other announcements include giving LEPs a role in skills policy for local areas and another £350m made available to the Regional Growth Fund. Funding is also being made available to support Enterprise Zone infrastructure.

Andy Wood, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to further investment in LEPs and we agree with his statement that the best way of supporting local growth is by the public and private sectors working in partnership.

“We have started work on our growth plan and this will be an increasingly important document for our local area.

“Ensuring businesses have suitably skilled workers is a key priority for our LEP and we welcome an enhanced role on this.

“Having secured funding from the recent round of the Regional Growth Fund we welcome news of additional funding, learning more about what this means in reality for New Anglia and we also welcome support for Enterprise Zones.”

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