Posted on November 7, 2011
Category: News

Communities whose ambitions for economic growth have been stuck in the mud could benefit from a multi-million pound boost to help get their building projects off the ground. The £500million Growing Places Fund will be available 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 Fund will put local businesses and organisations in the driving seat, with the 38 local enterprise partnerships, including Humber LEP, able to apply for the funding and then take decisions about what to prioritise locally.

Councils will support these plans with their technical and financial expertise leaving Humber LEP free of red tape and better able to focus their attention on ensuring the funds go to where they will be used most effectively.

And to ensure work can start straight away to help get Britain building again, all £500million will be allocated from the end of January.

Humber LEP will use their share of the Growing Places Fund to establish their own “revolving funding” to enable them to take forward a range of projects to help facilitate economic growth, jobs and housebuilding in the Humber area, providing returns which can be re-invested locally.

Types of projects for consideration might include:

o Early development of strategic link roads and access works to unlock major mixed-use developments, enabling the delivery of homes and commercial space – leading to the creation of jobs and securing private investment;
o Provision of flood storage capacity to enable development of homes, employment space and retail space; and
o Works to improve local connectivity and reduce congestion through interventions such as extending dual carriageways, enabling developments to be taken forward sustainably.

Ministers have published indicative allocations of the £500m Growing Places Fund to each of the 38 local enterprise partnerships, with Humber LEP receiving £5.8 million.

Lord Christopher Haskins, Chairman of the Humber LEP, said: “The funding allocation from central Government is welcome. Improving the Humber’s infrastructure is essential for growth, so it is good news that we will be able to allocate this according to our area’s priorities. It’s too early to talk about specific projects, but we will look to prioritise options quickly and start delivering this as soon as we can.”

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The £500million Growing Places Fund will unlock much-needed local infrastructure and get the homes we need built. It will be local enterprise partnerships, made up of the people and businesses who know their local areas best, who will decide where this cash boost will be spent. I now want to see these partnerships coming together and finding innovative ways to unlock local sites and help get Britain building again.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said: “The half a billion pound Growing Places fund will kick start local developments across the country. This is a flexible fix-it fund that will make a real difference on the ground, improving the lives of local residents and boosting the local economy. From building strategic link roads to reducing congestion, the investment will set businesses free and create jobs.”