Teesside watches the LEP blueprint

THE Prime Minister and Lord Heseltine are drawing up a template for growth under the new Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Lord Heseletine, David Cameron and Sir Terry Leahy

THE Prime Minister and Lord Heseltine are drawing up a template for growth under the new Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Meeting members of the Liverpool LEP, the Prime Minister said Tesco Chief Executive Sir Terry Leahy and Lord Heseltine would spearhead a regional economic plan that will stimulate growth in Liverpool. This could end up being the blueprint for Teesside’s plans.

The Teesside LEP will be at a national summit in the spring which will bring together LEP chairs from across the country to prioritise action to stimulate growth at a regional level. This will be supported by additional money from an LEP Capacity Fund.

The Prime Minister said: “In the next few years people all over our country - North, South, East, West - are going to see real change in the way local economies work.

“New Local Enterprise Partnerships - coalitions of business, councils and communities - are already working with business leaders like Terry Leahy to get big local projects off the ground to boost regional growth.

“This is a step change in the way regional growth is driven. And part of that step change is the Regional Growth Fund. We are saying to people if you’ve got an idea to bring investment and wealth to your area, the £1.4billion Regional Growth Fund is there to help make those good ideas happen.”

Lord Heseltine is expected on Teesside as part of a number of regional roadshows which provide advice on how potential applicants for the fund can participate in the bidding process and to encourage them to come forward with high-quality proposals that promise to create economic growth and sustainable jobs and help communities to flourish.

He said: “The Regional Growth Fund presents an opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs to help shape their own economic future. I hope today’s roadshow will inspire local people to think strategically about their area’s priorities and I encourage them to come forward with compelling funding proposals that promise to deliver a positive change to the local economy; bringing new jobs and benefits to local people.”

The Regional Growth Fund will operate over three years. The first of at least three bidding rounds is now open and the deadline for proposals is January 21.

The independent advisory panel under Lord Heseltine comprises:

Sir Ian Wrigglesworth, Deputy Chair; Felicity Goodey (Businesswoman, former senior BBC journalist); Tony Greenham (Programme Head, New Economics Foundation); Sir Richard Lambert (Director General, CBI); Jon Moulton (Chairman, Better Capital equity group); Caroline Plumb (Entrepreneur, Freshminds); Sir David Rowlands (Chair of Gatwick Airport Ltd and Angel Trains Group Ltd); Mark Seligman (Chartered Accountant and Banker, Credit Suisse); Andrew Shilston (Finance Director, Rolls Royce); Lord John Shipley (Former Leader Newcastle City Council); Tony Venables (Academic Economist, Oxford University.


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