The ‘magic ingredient’
Last week the Prime Minister gave a keynote speech where he set out a vision for this country’s infrastructure in the 21st century. He described new infrastructure as ‘the magic ingredient’ to long-term economic success.
An additional £270 million is being made available through the growing places fund. Less than a week after the Budget this money is being allocated to local enterprise partnerships giving them and the market greater confidence to invest. This builds on the £500 million already allocated.
Growing Places Fund
The Growing Places Fund provides local areas with up-front and flexible funding so they can quickly boost economic growth by getting the required infrastructure built to build new homes, create jobs and get stalled projects moving again.
- £12 million for Greater Manchester
- £11 million for Leeds City region
- £5 million for Hertfordshire
- £6 million for Lancashire
- almost £7 million for the Heart of the South West local enterprise partnership
Up to £150 million will be available for large-scale infrastructure projects in core cities. This money will be financed through a scheme known as ‘tax increment financing type 2’, which lets local authorities borrow against future growth in business rates for 25 years.
Further details on a competition for allocating funding will be announced in the spring.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:
“We know that new infrastructure is one of the most important ways to get the economy going again, support new homes and create long-term jobs and growth. That is why last week government made over £400 million more available to communities.
“The extra growing places fund money is available immediately so local enterprise partnerships can unlock sites for infrastructure development that support new homes and tax increment finance will give councils the means to raise their own finances over the longer term to back infrastructure projects themselves.”
Transport Secretary Justine Greening said:
“Transport infrastructure projects are often the key to unlocking jobs and growth potential, where new link roads or junction improvements can be a catalyst for investment in new regeneration sites of homes and businesses that otherwise might not happen.
“Feedback from the first round of our funding is that lots of projects are transport focused which is why I am delighted to provide £150 million from my department towards the additional £270 million for the Growing Places Fund.”
Read the Prime Minister’s speech on infrastructure.
The Lancashire local enterprise partnership has approved its first 3 schemes to receive £7 million. These 3 schemes - Luneside East commercial development in Lancaster, Burnley Bridge business park, Edge Hill University expansion in Ormskirk - are ready to start work immediately, providing transport infrastructure and land remediation works creating 1,550 new jobs, with a further £95 million investment and creating 577 new homes.
Worcestershire local enterprise partnership has allocated £3.25 million of its growing places fund to 4 schemes which will create over 500 new jobs and lever in over £20 million of other investment. These schemes include Hoo Brook Link Road and groundwork and utilities infrastructure at Worcester University Park and mixed-use development around Worcestershire County Cricket ground.
The Local Government Finance Billtakes forward proposals designed to encourage local economic growth, reduce the financial deficit and drive decentralisation of control over local government finance. This includes allowing for authorities to retain in full the rates growth in designated tax increment financing (TIF2) and enterprise zone areas.
A first wave of city deals has already started with England’s 8 largest cities outside London. These will give them the powers they need to attract private sector investment, create new jobs, and rebalance the economy. The cities are:
The additional growing places funding comes from various central government department underspends. The government has written to local enterprise partnerships this week setting out the allocation for 2012 to 2013 and beyond as follows:
|Local enterprise partnership
|North Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership
|Sheffield City Region
|Stoke and Staffordshire
|Greater Birmingham and Solihull
|Liverpool City Region
|Cheshire and Warrington
|York and North Yorkshire
|Leeds City Region
|Leicester and Leicestershire
|The Marches Enterprise Partnership - Shropshire and Herefordshire
|Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
|Coventry and Warwickshire
|South East Midlands
|Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough
|Coast to Capital
|Thames Valley Berkshire
|West of England
|Swindon and Wiltshire
|Heart of the South West
|Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
*£460 million of the original allocation went to local enterprise partnerships in England. The additional funding brings the total for England to £730 million. The remainder of the original allocation of £500 million was allocated to the devolved administrations.
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