Cambs LEP in line for �10m funding

FRESH from having part of Alconbury airfield designated as an enterprise zone, Cambridgeshire’s enterprise partnership has learned that it is in line for more than �10m in Government funding that is expected to be used to pump-prime key projects.

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area will benefit from �10.7million from the �500m Growing Places Fund, announced by Ministers on Monday.

The fund has been created ‘to help boost economic growth by getting the required infrastructure built to enable the creation of new jobs and homes by getting stalled projects moving again’, the Government said.

LEP chairman Neville Reyner, who is unpaid because the partnership started life with no funds at all, said: “Local businesses have clearly identified the requirement for improved infrastructure as a priority area for the LEP to tackle. We therefore welcome the Government’s allocation of �10.7 million from the Growing Places fund –a much-needed boost to companies and LEPs during these challenging economic times.

“As an area, we have recent experience of utilising a similar revolving fund to help move forward vital infrastructure and housing projects that otherwise would have stalled and held back potential economic growth. We will be building on with this knowledge and expertise to ensure our allocation of Growing Places funding is deployed to best effect. Our LEP has great economic potential, and this fund will help us take another step closer to achieving it.”

The LEP will now apply for the funding, while its board works to review and prioritise infrastructure projects that could be eligible for the money.

The Growing Places Fund itself will be available to spend from January 2012, ensuring a swift turnaround from announcement to delivery, a spokesman said.