Economic growth bid moves step closer
Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) welcomed news this month that its ambitious Regional Growth Fund (RGF) programme bid has taken a significant step forward, having been shortlisted by the Government ministerial panel.
The LEP’s RGF programme bid was submitted in April to the Independent Advisory Panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine, which looked at over 414 bids over the summer.
The LEP’s bid is now part of a shortlist of 278 bids which are vying for a part of the £1 billion Government fund for supporting projects with significant potential for economic growth.
Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chairman James Newman, said, “While this is great news, it should come as no surprise, as the Sheffield City Region has every reason to be confident in its round three programme bid.
“We know that there is huge untapped potential in the City Region and this programme will demonstrate that a small amount of funding can unlock six or more times as much direct private sector investment – leading to growth and sustainable, private sector employment.
“This bid has been several months in planning and a lot of hard work has gone into getting it right – it brings together dozens of companies with robust plans for growth. This is why the LEP Board is very confident that this bid will be extremely attractive to the ministerial panel.”
The Government reports that it has received a substantial number of applications from across the country and that the combined bids it received asked for two-and-a-half times the money that they have available.
The LEP’s programme bid asks Government to invest £38.6m to unlock £151.2 million of direct business investment, leading to sustainable, private sector growth. The footprint of this will be 2,193 new private sector jobs by March 2015.
If successful, there will also be countless further benefits including indirect jobs, and jobs safeguarded in the region. The LEP’s bid to Government is made up of 27 businesses, but if successful, many more businesses with plans for growth in the city region could be part of the programme.
Lord Heseltine’s Advisory Panel will soon be making its recommendations to a Ministerial Group, led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, that will make the final decisions as to which proposals should receive funding. The panel is expected to make their announcement in early Autumn 2012.
For more information on the LEP’s RGF bid, visit www.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk