East Staffordshire Borough Council has responded to the announcement by the Chancellor last week that new funding is to be made available for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to help create new jobs and investment.
£2bn will be made available to Local Enterprise Partnerships through a new Single Local Growth Fund over the next five years, with £2bn available for LEPs to bid into in 2015-16.
In addition, the Government announced last week that the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) of which East Staffordshire Borough Council is a member, will receive a notional allocation of around £220m from the new EU Structural Fund programme for 2014-2020 and there will be additional funding available to spend on major transport and infrastructure schemes.
Leader of East Staffordshire Borough Council and Board Director of the GBSLEP Councillor Richard Grosvenor commented: “Last Wednesday’s announcement from the Chancellor is good news for businesses in East Staffordshire and particularly is an endorsement of Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities and the part they play in driving economic growth and prosperity.
“The GBSLEP played a key role in promoting the concept of the ‘single pot’ through its work with Lord Heseltine and it is pleasing to see that the Government has devolved further funding to LEPs to help fund projects that will deliver jobs for our local workforce.
“As a Board director of the GBSLEP I will striving to secure the best deal possible for residents in East Staffordshire and ensure the Borough secures maximum benefit from this membership of the GBSLEP.”
Chief Executive of East Staffordshire Borough Council added: “We are disappointed with the size of the funding to be allocated in comparison to what Lord Heseltine originally requested. Nevertheless it represents a significant opportunity for East Staffordshire.”