Leeds and Manchester emerge as big first round LEP winners

The long-awaited multimillion pound first round Local Growth Fund settlements with 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships to spend on homes, transport skills projects across England were announced today.


The first wave of Growth Deal settlements announced today amount to £2bn a year and will be rolled out over the next six years bringing the total committed support devolved to the regions to £12bn.

In many cases funding has been agreed with LEPs beyond 2015/16 to kick start longer term projects and help lever in private sector cash over the longer term.

Leeds City Region LEP, for example, secured £573M from the Government’s Local Growth Fund to support economic growth in the area over the next six years. This includes £62M of new funding confirmed for 2015/16, £233.3M for 2016/17 to 2021 to add to the £277M previously committed

Greater Manchester also emerged as the biggest first year winner securing £170M in 2015/16 and a total of £477M from the Local Growth Fund over the next six years including £18M to revamp the Metrolink tram system. 

Greater Birmingham and Solihull has secured £357M over six years, including funds to expnd the light rail system and maximise the potential benefit of the HS2 project as it arrives at Curzon Street.

“In every experience I have had of backing local people, local experience and local initiative the results have seriously exceeded expectations,” said Lord Heseltine, chair of the Regional Growth Fund Advisory Panel. “Today’s announcement is a giant step in the rebalancing of our economy.”

Highlights from the competitively bid funding settlement include:

  • £18M to revamp the Metrolink transport system in Manchester, which will include 12 new trams, revamped stations and improved bus services. This is part of a £50M transport package in Greater Manchester
  • £23M for a new road tunnel linking Swindon to nearby Wichelstowe,
  • £55M for London’s Skills Capital programme; a Glass Academy in Sheffield to train people to work in the city’s glassworks and an Oil and Gas Academy in the Tees Valley 
  • Funding for a new National Agri-Food Campus in York which will help the area become a global leader in food manufacturing, agricultural technologies, and bio-renewable sectors, creating up to 800 new jobs
  • A £357M six year package to help Birmingham make the most of HS2 – including improving connection to the Birmingham Curzon Street station so that the area can maximise the benefits in terms of investment, jobs and skills and a major expansion of the light rail 
  • Support and advice for small and medium sized businesses, so that they can grow and create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country - local enterprise partnerships will tailor this support to local needs
  • Funding for a new engineering training facility at the MIRA technology park – delivered in partnership with North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, University of Leicester and Loughborough University. 
  • Support for a £1M project to create the Silverstone Metrology Centre, a high precision measurement facility for small and medium sized enterprises working in high performance technology industries such as motorsports, enabling them to develop new products
  • Funding for broadband networks in areas where provision is not currently available, such as remote areas of the North East.


Allocations of funding from the Local Growth Fund for Local Enterprise Partnerships in 2015/16

Black Country: £35M

Buckinghamshire Thames Valley: £11M

Cheshire and Warrington: £20M

Coast to Capital: £44M

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly: £11M

Coventry and Warwickshire: £18M

Cumbria: £9M

Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire: £47M

Dorset: £24M

Enterprise M3: £35M

Gloucestershire: £24M

Greater Birmingham and Solihull: £63M

Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough: £21M

Greater Lincolnshire: £48M

Greater Manchester: £170M

Heart of the South West: £63M

Hertfordshire: £53M

Humber: £29M

Lancashire: £84M

Leeds City Region: £73M

Leicester and Leicestershire: £28M

Liverpool City Region: £46M

London: £151M

New Anglian: £60M

North Eastern: £112M

Northamptonshire: £19M

Oxfordshire: £16M

Sheffield City Region: £46M

Solent: £46M

South East: £84M

South East Midlands: £31M

Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire: £21M

Swindon and Wiltshire: £13M

Tees Valley: £23M

Thames Valley Berkshire: £17M

The Marches: £13M

West of England: £79M

Worcestershire**: £13M

York and North Yorkshire: £34M

Total: £1735M

Funding and borrowing to be assigned*: £267M

Total: £2002M

*This includes match funding for European Social Fund skills activities and Housing Revenue Account Borrowing, which is to be confirmed during Autumn 2014.

**Includes £2.4m broadband investment; additional payment of this sum dependent upon full delivery of planned LEP projects.

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