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LEP funding announced

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Local enterprise partnerships have been offered a small amount of funding by government departments, with more potentially available through match funding.

The Departments of Business, Innovation & Skills and Communities & Local Government, announced on Monday that each of the 39 LEPs would be given £125,000 this year to boost capacity. In each of the remaining two years of this parliament, the LEPs will be able to bid for up to £250,000 which they would have to match locally to access.

This equates to £4.9m in grants this year, with £9.8m potentially available in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Once match funding is taken into account, the total pot could equate to £45m over the rest of the period.

In return, LEPs will be asked to ensure they have a clear set of priorities for local growth in place.

The announcement of funding comes hot on the heels of a report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Local Growth calling for LEPs to be centrally funded. The written ministerial statement from housing minister Mark Prisk announcing the funding said the money had been made available “in response to recent strong representations”.

Neil McLean, chair of the Leeds City Region LEP welcomed the news of the funding.

“Today’s announcement is excellent news and an important signal of government’s commitment to the success of LEPs. I am delighted ministers have listened to the messages they have received from LEP chairs on this - a relatively small amount of additional funding will go a long way, empowering us to take forward work to drive growth and jobs at local level.”

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