One Billion Pounds Fund to Help Regional Business
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Issued 29th June 2010
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today launched a £1 billion Regional
Growth Fund to help areas and communities at risk of being particularly
affected by public spending cuts.
The fund, which will operate in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 will help areas
most dependent on public sector employment as the country makes the
transition to private sector-led growth and prosperity. Both private
bodies and public-private partnerships will be able to bid for funding by
demonstrating that their proposal will bring in private investment and
support sustainable increases in private sector jobs and growth in their
Speaking in Bradford after the first Coalition Cabinet meeting outside of
London today, Nick Clegg said:
"While we sort out the nation's finances
we can also help to foster a thriving and more balanced economy so that no
region or community gets left behind.
"The Regional Growth Fund will create the conditions for growth and
enterprise in the regions by stimulating investment and create sustainable
private sector jobs.
“Alongside our commitment to waive some employment taxes for new
businesses starting up in targeted regions of the country, this fund can
make a real difference to companies during difficult times."
Nick Clegg also set out plans for local enterprise partnerships that
will bring together councils and business on an equal footing with one
voice, replacing the current Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). In a
joint letter sent to councils and business leaders today, Business
Secretary Vince Cable and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles have asked
them to consider forming new local enterprise partnerships that can
provide strategic leadership in their local areas and create the right
environment for business success and economic growth.
Vince Cable, the Business Secretary said:
“We are determined to rebalance the economy towards the private sector,
so it’s important we create a more effective structure to drive economic
growth and development across the country.
“We want a structure that reflects the genuine interests and commitment
of enterprise, local councils and other stakeholders like universities and
colleges. Local enterprise partnerships will provide that vision and then
take on the task of renewing local economies and tackling local barriers
to growth. Today we are asking them to tell us about their vision and I’m
looking forward to what they’ve got to say.“
Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary said:
"If you want to rebuild a fragile national economy you don’t strangle
business with red tape and let bloated regional quangos make all the
decisions. Urgent action is needed to rebuild and rebalance local
economies so that new businesses and economic opportunities spread across
"The solution needs to be local - we know that when councils and local
business work hand in hand they can drive economic growth together and
places can be transformed. Local enterprise partnerships are central to
this vision which is why we are asking them what they need.
"By giving up central control we will put democratic accountability
back into the local economy making it responsive to the needs of local
business and local people."
Local enterprise partnerships will tackle issues including planning and
housing, local transport and infrastructure, employment, enterprise and
supporting business start-ups. Other roles currently carried out by the
RDAs will be led nationally, such as inward investment, sector leadership,
business support, innovation and access to finance.
Further details of the Regional Growth Fund, and the creation of LEPs,
will be set out in the forthcoming White Paper on local and regional
Alongside this, Ministers also today announced plans for a Green Paper
on business finance. As part of the government's strategy to encourage
investment in growing companies in areas overly dependent on public sector
employment, the Green Paper will consider the evidence, and identify any
barriers to the supply of finance in such areas. It will consider whether
more can be done to encourage bank finance, and also look at other
possible sources of finance - such as growth capital and equity finance.
The paper will also consider the role for local stock exchanges, and
whether concerns about lack of liquidity and diversification can be
1. The letter to local authorities and business can be accessed at
2. Parties interested in forming local enterprise partnerships
should submit outline proposals by 6th September to: Local Enterprise
Partnerships, Economic Development Directorate, Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria St, SW1H 0ET; or by emailing:
LocalEnterprisePartnerships @ bis.gsi.gov.uk'.
3. Local enterprise partnerships will tackle issues including
planning and housing, local transport and infrastructure, employment,
enterprise and supporting business start-ups. Other roles currently
carried out by the RDAs will be led nationally, such as inward investment,
sector leadership, business support, innovation and access to finance.
4. The Government is determined that the transition from RDAs to
local enterprise partnerships will be orderly, working to a clear
timetable. Legislation to abolish them was announced in the Queen’s speech
and is expected to be introduced to Parliament in the autumn.
5. Full details of the Regional Growth Fund, including who will be
eligible to apply, and the criteria and process for assessing bids, will
be set out in the forthcoming White Paper on local and regional growth.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2010-07-01 17:28:02 in Business Articles