The drive to stimulate local economic growth was stepped up when Business Minister Mark Prisk announced a package with three measures to help local enterprise partnerships get up and running.
Firstly the partnerships are being invited to submit bids for a share of a £5 million Start-Up Fund. The fund is a one-off pot of money to fund such things as office equipment and training which they believe will help get themselves established. Partnerships will be expected to demonstrate as part of their bid how they will become self-sustaining in the future.
Secondly, from today partnerships will also have access to an online Toolbox which provides comprehensive information on economic development activity across government departments, and ideas for strong partnership/government working. Thirdly, they will also be able to access information through the new BIS Local network which will be the first point of contact on any issues.
Funding allocations from the first round of the local enterprise partnership Capacity Fund were also issued to partnerships today. Each will receive a share of £1 million to help increase their understanding of the barriers to growth facing local businesses.
Mark Prisk said:
“Today we are moving up a gear in promoting local growth. Over the last ten months, business and civic leaders have risen to the challenge and we now have 33 partnerships in place covering 92 per cent of all businesses in England.
“The package of support opportunities I’ve announced today will help partnerships to translate their ideas and ambition into real action to help businesses in their areas and to unlock growth.”