LEP welcomes ‘new model of local economic growth’
The Sheffield City Region has welcomed the ‘new model of local economic growth’ set out by the Government in its response to the Heseltine Review.
In key areas, the Government’s proposals reflect the model being developed by the Sheffield City Region – which combines private sector leadership with public sector partnership, governance, capacity and accountability.
- The LEP welcomed the Government’s recommendation that it will have more influence over skills funding. This builds on the existing responsibilities that were devolved to the Sheffield City Region as part of the City Deal in summer 2012.
- The LEP welcomed Government plans to provide funding to develop strategic growth plans. This Government decision recognises the importance of prioritising investments based on economic impact and the need for strong and stable governance in local decision making. This broadly reflects the principles of the Sheffield City Region Model as set out in its City Region Authority proposals which will work alongside the private sector led LEP. The Sheffield City Region is currently finalising its Economic Prospectus, which will be the precursor to its strategic growth plan.
- The LEP welcomed proposals for a Single Local Growth Fund. The LEP is already ahead of the game in terms of making investment decisions at a City Region level. The Sheffield City Region Investment Fund (SCRIF), which has been progressed as part of the City Deal, will allow the City Region to prioritise transport, housing and other schemes based on economic impact. This fund already includes £23m of JESSICA funding and £7.1m of the Growing Places Fund and will shortly be committed to four key infrastructure projects across the City Region.
- The LEP welcomed the Government’s acceptance that some LEP areas overlap and that this reflects the reality of how the economy operates.
- The LEP also welcomed that the Government’s response singles out the Sheffield City Region as an example of “what local business leadership and strong partnerships across local authorities can deliver” – the Sheffield City Region will be the first LEP Area to submit plans for a City Region Authority (“the SCR Authority”).
LEP Chairman James Newman said,
“Government has recognised that Sheffield City Region has solved the puzzle of how to integrate a LEP, a City Region Authority and local partners into a dynamic local partnership.
“We welcome the Government’s recognition of the Sheffield City Region Model. We agree that the prosperity of this country was built on strong local leadership, and we intend to forge ahead, with all our partners, to create jobs and improve the quality of life of local residents.”
The Government’s response to the Heseltine Review can be found at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_28_13.htm