Thanks a billion – enterprise group welcomes government cash pot

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A partnership group covering the Milton Keynes region has welcomed the chance to use part of a £20billion cash pot to build homes and develop skills and jobs in the area.

Earlier today (Thursday) the government confirmed details of a new Single Local Growth Fund (SLGF) to transfer funding to the country’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) at the rate of £2billion in 2015 and at least that every year up to 2020.

One of those LEPs is based in Cranfield and is called the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP). It has members from private and public sectors and is chaired by business leader Dr Ann Limb. SEMLEP covers from Northampton to Luton and Biggleswade to Aylesbury.

Dr Limb said; “In the South East Midlands, working with our local authority partners, we are geared up to making valuable use of these new resources and we hope that by demonstrating delivery in the first year we will be able to encourage government to put even more into the fund going forward.

“LEP chairs, our public and private boards, and our communities are determined to continue to bring forward more economic growth at the local level. Through our Single Local Growth Fund and ‘city’ deals we are determined to deliver accelerated, tangible growth in homes, skills and jobs across the South East Midlands.

“At least £2 billion a year up to 2020 for LEPs will help us to help stimulate jobs and growth. We recognise the real cuts being made across many government departments, so this is a positive step and our job now is to ensure we make the strongest possible business case in order to access future funding for the South East Midlands.”

SEMLEP also welcomes the government’s commitment to invest over £28 billion over the six years from 2014 in enhancements and maintenance of national and local roads and a further £250m in delivering fixed superfast broadband to 95 per cent of the population by 2017.

On July 5 the LEP network will meet to hear further details on how to access these additional funds.