Worcestershire LEP welcomes today’s announcement by the Government confirming a £2 billion growth fund for England’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships. The announcement of this ‘single pot’ fund is a clear indication that LEPs are set to sit centre stage in future growth policy.
However, we share the disappointment of other LEPs that the Government has failed to back the stronger financial commitment proposed in Lord Heseltine’s recent No Stone Unturned report. Peter Pawsey, Executive Chair at WLEP, comments: “Although we welcome the announcement of single pot funding and see it as a firm commitment by the Government to the LEPs’ long term importance, we are disappointed that the Government has failed to seize the opportunity to make this more substantial and that it covers just a single year – not the four year term discussed by Lord Heseltine.”
He continues: “We are committed to the delivery of growth and jobs in Worcestershire but can only achieve this if Government delivers on its policy of devolution of the appropriate levers and funds to a local level. The Government needs to be bolder and trust communities to deliver.
“We will continue to work pro-actively with Ministers and officials to ensure that the single pot becomes of a size and significance to achieve our ambitions.”