Partnership welcomes new £5m cash grant

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Government plans to help local enterprise partnerships fund their operations have been welcomed by Sheffield City Region partnership chairman James Newman.

The Government is providing £5 million to the 39 LEPs and offering an additional £24 million – which will depend on the LEPs raising £20 million locally.

The funding answers criticisms LEPs had no funds to run their operations when they were set up to replace regional development associations such as Yorkshire Forward.

Mr Newman said: “Although this is only a relatively small amount, it will give our LEP the resources it needs to develop its strategy based on local priority sectors of high economic growth and job-creation potential.

“These funds will give the LEP’s long term projects the resources they need – ensuring the ongoing success of our inward investment strategy, our enterprise zone and our city deal. I hope they release the funds without too much delay, so we can concentrate our efforts on stimulating economic growth.”

Mr Newman said the LEP was now hoping its bid to secure multi-million-pound funding for a range of initiatives to boost the economy would be successful when the next round of regional growth funding is announced in the autumn.

The new government funding has also been welcomed by Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

Dominic Beck, of the chamber, said: “The money will enable LEPs to take up more initiatives and take on more responsibility.”