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Ministers unveil £500m Growing Places fund allocations

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has announced the regional allocations for the government’s £500 million Growing Places Fund designed to unlock stalled developments by funding local infrastructure projects

Local Enterprise Partnerships are being invited to apply for the money, which is expected to stimulate massive private sector investment by improving the viability of residential, commercial and retail schemes across the regions, reported sister title Construction News.

The government has published a prospectus setting out the key features of the fund and inviting expressions of interest from LEPs.

The 38 existing LEPs have until 20 December to submit an application with allocations due to be announced in January.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: ‘The £500 million 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.’

London looks set to receive the largest portion of the fund, with CLG’s indicative allocation suggesting the capital will be in for nearly £40.

Leeds is due to receive £23.9 million and the East Midlands LEP covering Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire will get £17.4 million.

Birmingham has been allocated £14.9 million, Liverpool will get £12.9 million, while there will be a £14.2 million fund for the Heart and South West LEP.

Chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander added: ‘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.’

Labour said the move showed ministers were starting to realise their decision to scrap RDAs was a mistake.

Shadow communities and local government secretary Hilary Benn added: ‘Given this Conservative-led government’s history of failure to get money to businesses that need it through the other schemes they’ve announced and reannounced, they should make sure that this time the money speedily gets to the local authorities, businesses and entrepreneurs who will be at the heart of the economic recovery the country desperately needs.’

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