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Liberal Democrat News 11th November 2011

November 11, 2011 8:38 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Kick-starting our local economies

Some £500m of public money is being made available to private developers in England to help them get housing and commercial projects off the ground. The Growing Paces Fund was first outlined by Danny Alexander at the Liberal Democrat Conference in September.
The aim of the Fund is to kick-start infrastructure projects to enable the creation of new jobs and homes by getting projects moving again that have stalled due to problems with road access, contaminated land and flood risks.

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) - made up of councils and businesses - are able to apply for the funding and then take decisions about what to prioritise locally. LEPs replaced Regional Development Agencies, created by Labour, which were centrally-controlled, unaccountable and proved unsuccessful at tackling economic inequality around the UK.

The Growing Places Fund will be shared out between LEPs, bringing £12.9m to Liverpool, £23.9m to Leeds and nearly £40m for London. There will also be £17.4m for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, £14.9m for Birmingham and Solihull and £14.2m for the South West.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: "We're making available half a billion pounds of public money, so the developer can get on and invest billions of pounds more in building houses and employing people - in getting Britain building again. Then when the development is built and sold they can repay us the money and it can be used against to support another such development." All £500 million will be allocated from the end of January 2012.

Solihull MP Lorely Burt, who is also the Co-Chair of the Lib Dem Parliamentary Policy Committee on BIS, has welcomed the £14.9m funding for the Birmingham area.

"This money will provide a shot in the arm for our local economy,"

she said.

"This is the latest in a long line of government announcements that are designed to get our economy moving. We had the second round of the Regional Growth Fund last week, taking the total RGF funding in our region to £207m and now we have this £14.9m.

"The West Midlands was the hardest hit during the recession, but this series of investments demonstrate the commitment that the government has to getting our region back on its feet.

"The money will be made available to the local partnerships, run by local people who understand what the local area needs, rather than by someone sitting a 100 miles away in Whitehall."

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