Solent LEP to seek projects for a share of £1.8 billion

Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP Chairman

England’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships will be able to apply for a share of £1.8 billion to support projects in their areas.

Local leaders wanting to boost skills, support business and build more homes will be offered the chance to apply for the latest round of Growth Deals worth billions of pounds, Greg Clark announced last week.

The Communities Secretary said the deals would boost the chances of areas securing significant inward investment from overseas – as he chaired an historic summit with Chinese regional leaders to highlight the opportunities available across the country.

Under the Growth Deals, England’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships – made up of council leaders and business representatives – will be able to apply for a share of £1.8 billion to support projects in their areas that boost local economic growth and create jobs.

The money forms part of the government’s £12 billion Local Growth Fund, which is already being used to support successful projects – chosen by communities themselves.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:

“We’re completely changing the way business is done in this country, ending the top-down, ‘Whitehall knows best’ mentality of the past and instead putting power back where it belongs – in the hands of local communities.

“With this offer of a Growth Deal to communities across the country, we’re backing this devolution revolution with billions of pounds, releasing vital investment in projects across the country to boost local skills, deliver new homes and create jobs.”

The announcement follows the Solent LEPs recent call for Local Growth Deal projects during October and November 2015.

Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP Chairman, said:

“We have always wanted to make sure the Solent had a head start in developing a project pipeline for the Local Growth Deal and received information on more than 40 major investments in response to our call last year.

“Now we know we have until summer to develop our proposal, we will be working with local partners to develop the best of these projects, and also open a call seeking new proposals that can transform our economy and ensure the Solent maximises its share of the £1.8bn.”