Suffolk: New Anglia welcomes Government cash offer to LEPs

THE New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership today welcomed the announcement of Government funding to help LEPs across the country drive forward their growth priorities.

An interim �5million funding package will be made available immediately for the country’s 39 LEPs to draw upon for the rest of the current financial year and this will be followed by up to �250,000 per LEP per year for the next two years.

The central government funding will be provided on a 50/50 basis by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and, where matched by funds locally, the overall funding pot could equate to �45million over the period.

Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon, said: “It is crucial we arm Local Enterprise Partnerships with the tools and resources they need to play a prominent role in delivering growth and jobs for their communities. This funding will help LEPs plan for the long term and ensure they can remain locally-led instead of dependent on central government support.

“We need to ensure LEPs remain voluntary business and civic partnerships so they are in the best possible position to deliver sustainable growth and job creation in their areas. Already we are seeing LEPs across England delivering innovative schemes in their communities. This financial support will help the partnerships to continue this work.”

Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk added: “Today’s �25million boost will give Local Enterprise Partnerships the financial stability they need going forward, to build on their early successes and tailor the support they offer to local needs.

“If matched by local support, this could mean that up to �45million will be available to help LEPs turn their plans into jobs and growth.”

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Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia LEP, which covers Suffolk and Norfolk, said: “I am pleased Government has decided to support Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in this way.

“Capacity has at times been an issue during the first year of operation right across the Lep Network and this core funding will go a long way to alleviating this.

“Leps are private sector led with the aim of creating jobs and economic growth. This funding will ensure the New Anglia LEP will be able to work still more effectively with its partners to achieve its aims.”

LEPs will be invited to bid for matched funding for 2013/14 and 2014/15, setting out how they would be able to offer a cash match from public or private resources. Details on the scope of the match will be discussed with LEPs shortly.

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