George Osborne confirmed the size of the single local growth fund during today’s spending review, with full details to be outlined tomorrow as part of the Investing in Britain’s Future announcements.
The chancellor said that Local Enterprise Partnerships can bid for a share of £2bn a year from 2015, which amounts to at least £10bn over the next parliament.
“We’re also embarking on major reforms to the way we spend money locally through the creation of the single local growth fund that Lord Heseltine proposed,” Mr Osborne said.
“This will be £2bn a year – that’s at least £10bn over the next Parliament – that Local Enterprise Partnerships can bid for and the details will be set out tomorrow.”
The sum falls short of the £49bn over four years suggested by Lord Heseltine when he recommended the single fund in his report No stone unturned.
In response to today’s announcements National Federation of Builders chief executive Julia Evans said: “We welcome the chancellor’s continued commitment to capital investment in infrastructure and the desire to push funding more locally to those responsible for spending.
“However, the reduced budgets for local government and a much lower than expected single local growth fund will frustrate efforts for regional recovery.
“The industry needs a more holistic approach, in line with Lord Heseltine’s review on growth, in order to be absolutely sure that the UK is doing its best to support enterprise, both large and small.”
The government confirmed its commitment to creating the single local growth fund in March this year, following the recommendations made by Lord Heseltine.
In his report, Lord Heseltine made 89 recommendations of which the government accepted 81, rejected five and is still considering a further three.