LEPs are central to the Government’s approach to driving local economic growth and for ensuring that every community is able to fulfil its potential. This offer of over £24 million from Government could unlock up to £20 million locally and will enable LEPs to deliver their local plans for growth.
An interim £5 million funding package will be made available immediately for all LEPs to draw upon for the remainder of this financial year. This will be followed by up to £250,000 per LEP per year for the following two years. Where matched by funds locally the overall funding pot could equate up to £45 million over this period. 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).
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 said:
"Today's £25 million 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 £45 million will be available to help LEPs turn their plans into jobs and growth.”
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.
The Government made £5 million of core funding available to LEPs last year to help them start up and establish themselves through financial support for things such as board support, development of priorities and business engagement. This was followed by a further £4 million to build capacity over a four year period.
Notes to Editors:
1. The interim funding for 2012/13 is made up of £4,875,000 split equally between BIS and DCLG.
2. For 2013/14 and 2014/15, matched funding will be offered of up to £250,000 per LEP per annum, with DCLG and BIS together contributing £10 million per year. LEPs wishing to utilise this funding will be required to source match funding of equal value.
3. There are 39 LEPs across England. Each LEP is made up of local businesses working in partnership with a combination of local authorities. Further details LEPs and what they do is available on the BIS website.
4. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
· To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
· To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
· To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
· To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.
5. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.