Yesterday's announcement that Northern local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) have been awarded £556m is encouraging news for the local economy.
The Northern LEPs help unlock the vast economic potential of the region by enabling businesses and enterprises to thrive. This measure will help to address the North/South divide, rebalance the economy and provide much needed investment into the North.
With the Chancellor forecasting lower growth and higher public borrowing across the UK, investment in the region's LEPS to help local business growth is vital.
The government will award £556m to local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) across the North of England through a third round of Growth Deals, and is also starting talks on future transport funding with Greater Manchester, Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced in an Autumn Statement which he said aims to address "productivity barriers in the Northern Powerhouse". Hammond has announced that the government will award a total of £1.8bn to LEPS across England. Of this, £556m will go towards the North, £392m to the Midlands, £151m to the East, £492m to London and the South East, and £191m to the South West. This funding of local infrastructure is intended to improve transport connections, unlock housebuilding, boost skills and enhance digital connectivity. The precise amounts allocated from the Local Growth Fund to individual local enterprise partnerships will be announced in the coming months.