The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership have recently announced the second round of their Growing Places Fund (click here for details). This is part of a national £500m fund aimed at supporting growth through delivery of the infrastructure needed to unlock development. This is designed to generate the additional jobs and homes that communities need.

The Government has set three overriding objectives for the Fund:

  • to generate economic activity in the short-term by addressing immediate infrastructure and site constraints to promote the delivery of jobs and housing;
  • to allow LEPs to prioritise the infrastructure they need, empowering them to deliver their economic strategies;
  • to establish sustainable revolving funds so that funding can be reinvested to unlock further development and lever private investment.

The national Fund is almost entirely capital and has been allocated in response to bids submitted by LEPs, including Solent LEP, to distribute in line with local priorities. The precise amount of the allocation has been made on a formula basis.

Whilst the deadline for the Solent Growing Places fund is very tight (end of July), it’s likely that this will be one of a number of rounds from the two LEPs that have a relationships with New Forest District (Enterprise M3 and Solent). Furthermore, it seems evident that central Government is favouring delivery of the growth agenda through the LEPs.

NFBP would like to hear your views about what could and should be delivered through this and other similar funding. What are the infrastructure priorities and what would impact growth of the local economy in the most positive way?

Views are welcome either through comments to this post or by email to NFDC’s Business Development Officer Matt Callaghan at matt.callaghan@nfdc.gov.uk

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