Solent LEP Responds Positively to the Government Spending Review and Wants Your Help to Secure Funding
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has responded positively to the announcement yesterday by The Rt Hon. Danny Alexander MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, which revealed the size of the Single Local Growth Fund for devolution to LEPs over the period of the next Parliament and the European (EU) funding available for the 2014 – 2020 spending period (paper embedded below for your convenience).
Key investments in relation to LEPs include:
- The Single Local Growth Fund, which has been set at £2Billion per annum and funding will be utilised to give LEPs greater control over key initiatives to drive investment in skills, transport and housing from 2015.
- EU funding, announced as £5.3Billion across the 2014 – 2020 period. EU funding will become available for LEPs to access as early as 2014. Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced the indicative allocation of this funding to the Solent LEP area will be €43.1m Euros, equivalent to almost £37m.
- A further £600million will be made available via the Regional Growth Fund over the next two years to support projects and programmes delivering private sector growth and jobs.
Yesterday’s announcement has reiterated the Government’s belief that business-led LEPs are the best vehicle for driving economic growth in local areas and LEPs are now tasked with agreeing a Growth Deal with Government.
Multi-year strategic plan
A key element of agreeing a growth deal will be development of a multi-year strategic plan which will bring together the Single Local Growth Fund, EU Investment Funds and other local investment from the public and private sector. Further detail on the strategic plans and wider Growth Deal process is expected to be released in the summer.
However, with EU funding expected to become available in 2014, it is essential that LEPs begin shaping their EU Investment Strategy immediately if they are to benefit at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Solent LEP are already putting provision in place for this work and it is anticipated that the Solent EU Investment Strategy will form the basis of the wider multi-year strategic plan in the longer term.
Doug Morrison, Solent LEP Chairman, said:
“The total funding amounts available for devolution through LEPs under all the initiatives announced yesterday will be allocated on a competitive basis and those areas with the strongest investment strategies will receive the most funding. My priority as LEP Chair will be ensuring that the Solent is at the forefront of this process to maximise investment for the sub-region and drive growth in our economy.
“It will of course be vital that we secure as much input as possible from local stakeholders across the Solent to develop an investment strategy which will be effective in stimulating local growth. In the coming days we will be announcing details of the first of two consultation events focussed on our strategy to access the EU funds available and I strongly urge partners in the Solent to come along and help us shape the investment strategy.
“This is a unique opportunity to influence close to £37m of EU spending and the wider single local growth fund. If we do not work together closely in the Solent to deliver growth from the funding now, it is an opportunity which we are unlikely to have again.”
Details of the first of two consultation events will be made available on www.solentlep.org.uk shortly.
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