New Anglia LEP awarded �12.2m under Growing Place Fund to boost growth

NEW Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership is to receive nearly �12.3million as its share of a �500million Government programme to boost economic growth.

The Growing Places Fund is designed to support key infrastructure improvements which will in turn enable the creation of new homes and jobs, and get currently stalled developments moving again.

In addition to the allocation announced yesterday for New Anglia LEP, which covers Suffolk and Norfolk, the South East LEP, which includes Essex, Kent and East Sussex, will receive �33.2m and the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP has been awarded �10.9m.

The New Anglia and South East allocations are both slightly larger than previously indicated. Each LEP will be responsible for identifying its own local priorities.

New Anglia LEP is finalising the criteria for bids to its fund and plans to begin consulting with partners in the next few days. The fund itself will open for applications in the spring.

Andy Wood, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said: “We are pleased with our allocation which is a little higher than our provisional settlement announced before Christmas.

“This fund will be used to invest in helping kick-start projects that will create jobs and boost our local economy and is timely help for our area.”

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Typical schemes that could qualify for investment include investment in physical infrastructure which would unlock development, creating jobs and boosting the economy.

The fund will be a “revolving” fund meaning that schemes will have to repay their funding, which will then be used to fund future projects.

South East LEP chairman John Spence, said: “This funding will help provide a shot in the arm for the economy of the South East and therefore the whole country.

“It is right that the government supports the businesses and local authorities from across the South East LEP to develop local solutions for local challenges. The LEP will add value by prioritising the schemes which have optimal impact on enterprise and growth for our area and the country as a whole.

“We are clearly geared up to put this funding to work as quickly as possible and will respect the principles of subsidiarity in ensuring that our local partners – both private and public sector – use it to drive real growth across the LEP.”

The Growing Places Fund allocations form part of a wider package of measures which also includes �432m of cash for local authorities under the New Homes Bonus scheme, in return for the delivery of new homes over the past two years. Local authorities in Suffolk will receive nearly �5.6m while those in north and mid Essex are in line for nearly �5.4m.