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.