District’s LEPs net £66.7m in extra government funding

Roger Marsh, chairman of Leeds City Region LEP.

Roger Marsh, chairman of Leeds City Region LEP.

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The two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) that include the Harrogate district have both netted large amounts of additional government funding.

The Leeds City Region LEP has secured a further £54.6m Growth Deal funding to create jobs and support business growth.

As a result, it is estimated the overall investment could bring up to 10,000 jobs, 2,000 new homes and up to £640m public and private sector investment to Leeds City Region.

This new funding is on top of the £1bn deal agreed in July 2014 which saw the Leeds City Region awarded the largest settlement of any LEP area in the country.

Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region LEP, said: “This expansion of the £1bn Growth Deal we secured last summer is further demonstration of the government’s confidence in Leeds City Region as an economic powerhouse-in-the-making, capable of generating extraordinary growth for the North and the nation, and transforming us into a net contributor to national wealth.”

The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP has also increased its share of funding. It will see an extra £12.1m invested in the area between 2016 and 2021 – in addition to the £110.1m in its original deal.

Barry Dodd CBE, chairman of York, North Yorkshire & East Riding LEP, said: “We welcome this investment from the Government into key projects within our LEP area.

“As a principally rural LEP with strong food and tourism sectors, it’s important that we have projects that can support the growing ambitions of our small businesses while opening up opportunities around agritech and biorenewables. Ultimately, this will create high-quality jobs, additional housing and grow our economy.”

LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses set up in 2011 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to determine local economic priorities and lead economic growth locally.

They are increasingly seen as the natural conduits for central government funding, replacing the regional development agencies that were scrapped in 2012.

The Prime Minister said: “Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan.”