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Government takes on board Heseltine’s regional growth plan

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The government has agreed to 81 of the 89 recommendations in Michael Heseltine’s plan for growth targeted at the regions

The coaltion has adopted Heseltine’s key proposal to devolve spending decisions to local government and create a single growth fund for skills, housing and transport projects.

The Treasury today announced local enterprise partnerships would bid for money from a single local growth fund from 2015.

Local ‘growth deals’ will be used to negotiate funding with money dished out in response to the ‘quality’ of ideas put forward by local enterprise partnerships and the area’s need.

Further details of the new cash stream are set to be revealed in the June spending review.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: ‘Heseltine’s local vision is the best way to foster local growth and stimulate the economy.

‘A single local growth fund that Local Enterprise Partnerships apply to, joined up working between local authorities so they make strategic decisions on projects that boost growth such as infrastructure spanning their areas, and specialist support from civil servants.

‘It’s a big change from the hand-out attitude of the past that stifled innovation and turned the regions into powerless centres that relied on Whitehall for jobs and spending.’

Heseltine’s No Stone Unturned in the Pursuit of Growth report argued local authorities had been ‘relegated to service providers’ and that government had been too centrally focussed.

The Downing Street-commissioned review called for a six-month planning deadline on non-complex schemes and ‘localised’ funding to boost economic growth

He also advocated £49 billion of funds to be made available from central government for the regions to help local leaders and businesses.







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