Thursday, August 4, 2011

News: LEP secures government funding


Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is to receive almost £250,000 from a new Government support fund for economic development.

Partnerships were asked to bid for a share of the funding which will help them finance things such as training and other initial costs as they work towards establishing themselves.

The award of £246,000 – the highest award from the fund nationally – will pay for essential staff to develop and deliver the work of the LEP, and help build a programme of engagement with the local business community.

James Newman, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "Along with fellow LEP Board members I have been calling on Government for some time to make real their commitment to the LEPs and their potential, by providing practical support on the ground.

"We're delighted that the Government has responded to this, and that the Sheffield City Region LEP has been successful in its bid for much-needed funding.

"Although we have not been awarded everything that we applied for, this money will help the Local Enterprise Partnership set up a team of up to six essential staff, and provide a budget for activities that will help us to engage local businesses in the work of the Sheffield City Region."

Business Minister Mark Prisk said: "It's important we give local enterprise partnerships as much support as we can as they set themselves up and identify what their priorities are.

"The start up fund will allow them to pay for things such as training for the board members, as well as support their work engaging with the wider business community. In some cases, the partnerships have come up with some really innovative ways of using this money."

After abolishing Regional Development Agencies, LEPs are the government's new model to promote economic development. The intention is that LEPs will provide the strategic leadership required to set out local economic priorities, and better reflect the natural economic geography of the areas they serve.

Sheffield City Region LEP website


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