LEPs to share £500m for infrastructure development
posted on 07/11/2011 17:01:00, updated on 07/11/2011
The government has announced how it plans to share out a £500m funding pot for infrastructure projects that will encourage economic growth. The growing places fund will be made available to the 38 local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), which bring councils and businesses together to collaborate on economic growth initiatives.
The fund will provide £500m to enable the development of local funds to address infrastructure constraints, promoting economic growth and the delivery of jobs and houses. The short, high-level prospectus sets out how the fund will operate and invites proposals from local partnerships, who will need to complete and submit the pre-qualification questionnaire.
LEPs awarded a share of the funding will be responsible for allocating the money to developers in their area, allowing them to prioritise the infrastructure they believe will create new jobs and homes. These could include strategic road links, access works and flood storage capacity.
LEPs are also being encouraged to establish revolving funds, so that the money invested in projects is repaid by developers and then reinvested locally. Eric Pickles said:
‘The £500m growing places fund will unlock much-needed local infrastructure and get the homes we need built. It will be LEPs, made up of the people and businesses who know their local areas best, who will decide where this cash boost will be spent.
‘I now want to see these partnerships coming together and finding innovative ways to unlock local sites and help get Britain building again.’ The government plans to allocate all the money this financial year.