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Growth body bids for £500,000

Martin Kelly, economic development director at Lancashire County Council

Martin Kelly, economic development director at Lancashire County Council

 

The body charged with delivering growth to Lancashire’s economy is to bid for £500,000 of support.

The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership has submitted a bid for ‘core capacity funding’ from the Government which it hopes will see it land £250,000.

A meeting of the board’s executive committee held on Tuesday night discussed putting together a growth plan to agree how to spend it.

It follows a letter from Business Minister Michael Fallon and Mark Prisk telling the LEP it had missed a deadline to send in a draft version of the plan.

LEP spokesman Martin Kelly, economic development director at Lancashire County Council, said: “We have developed a bid for core capacity funding, which was submitted last week in keeping with the national timescale.

“It is a requirement of Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) that we also prepare a growth plan but it is important to us that this is developed thoroughly and reflects the full scope of what the LEP intends to achieve.

“As such the plan will be finalised through discussions at our board meetings in both February and April, and we don’t anticipate the timing of this having any negative impact on our funding bid.

“The bid itself aims to secure £250,000 from government which will be match-funded by £250,000 from Lancashire County Council and provide extra resource to support the LEP in delivering its key projects across Lancashire.”

In a letter sent by the ministers to LEP chairman Edwin Booth, they called for a “clear and robust plan” for how it intends to bring growth to Lancashire “as a matter of urgency.”

It claims the body has supplied Government with “a framework of priorities” which had been in place since 2011, but said it could not receive cash until it had received a growth plan.

The letter, released under a Freedom of Information request, read: “We announced last October that BIS and DCLG were making £25m available to LEPs to bolster your core capacity funding.

“Our offer included £125,000 per LEP which was immediately available to your nominated local authority and an additional £250,000 available for 2013/14 and 14/15 condition on you having your growth plan in place and submitted to use by the end of December 2012.”

The letter goes on to say the Lancashire body had failed to deliver a draft plan by the end of December.

The LEP executive is made up of business leaders, including former Enterprise plc chief executive Owen McLaughlin and Westinghouse UK boss Mike Tynan, and council officials from across the county.

 

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