LEP set to bid for new �500m infrastructure fund

THE Cambridgeshire and Peterborough local enterprise partnership is almost certain to bid for a slice of a new �500million infrastructure fund set up by the Treasury, when the detail becomes clearer.

Chief Secretary Danny Alexander announced the Growing Places fund to support infrastructure projects that have previously been held back by funding issues.

He told the Liberal Democrat conference that the fund would kick start developments that are currently stalled, deliver key infrastructure and create jobs … “putting local areas in the driving seat, to boost the local economy and get people into work, providing flexibility to local areas to recycle funding for other projects once development is completed.”

Neville Reyner, chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Local businesses have clearly identified the requirement for improved infrastructure as a priority area for the LEP to tackle.

“The Growing Places Fund could provide us with the funding required to move some of our key infrastructure projects forward sooner rather than later, and also create a source of funding that will return to our area again in the future.

“We look forward to receiving further information about how our LEP can access this funding in the near future.”

Cambridgeshire County Council leader Nick Clarke added: “The more we invest in encouraging employment the better the quality of life is for our residents. More importantly we want Government to know Cambridgeshire is a good place to invest in as our county is well placed to help drive forward the national economy.”

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But the fund is unlikely to get this area’s biggest stalled scheme back to the drawing board - the entire �500m would meet let than half the cost of the now-abandoned �1.2bn A14 upgrade.