Handout pledge hailed as ‘game changer’

Leeds LEP Chair Roger Marsh
Leeds LEP Chair Roger Marsh
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KEY development projects, vital flood defences, major housing schemes and a series of transport improvements will be given the green light after the Government promised hundreds of millions of pounds to the region.

The cash is a result of a series of “growth deals” struck between the Government and the region’s local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) – bodies which bring business and councils together to expand the economy.

Leeds City Region LEP chairman Roger Marsh said: “This is a game-changing moment for the Leeds City Region.

“Have we got everything we asked for? No. Have we got enough to begin realising our ambitions for transformational growth? Absolutely.”

In addition to money, the deals involve handing over powers including unprecedented control over flood defence spending in the Humber.

Humber LEP chairman Lord Haskins said: “This investment will enable us to put in place more of the critical infrastructure, including important flood defences, to maximise the potential of the Humber Estuary and help attract new investment and jobs to the area.

“With the Siemens announcement, the growing offshore wind sector in Grimsby and the potential of the Able Marine Energy Park, we are realising our ambition to become a national and international centre for renewable energy.”

His Sheffield City Region counterpart, James Newman, said: “We have secured the fifth largest amount of any LEP area and we are one of a very small handful of LEPs being given significant freedoms by Government as to how we spend our funding.’’

The money has come from the Government’s £2bn-a-year local growth fund which Labour has promised to treble.