Heseltine backed on regional growth

THE GOVERNMENT yesterday gave its backing to Lord Heseltine’s plans to boost economic growth in the regions.

Key measures include devolving powers to English regions, as well as the formation by 2015 of a single central government fund for promoting growth measures through investment in housing and transport.

At least 60 of the Tory peer’s 89 proposals will be implemented in full.

However funding for the plans will be in the low billions than the £12bn annual spend requested by Heseltine.

Five measures were rejected outright, including a legal status for local chambers of commerce and measures to protect UK companies from foreign takeovers.

Chancellor George Osborne said: “We asked Lord Heseltine to do what he does best: challenge received wisdom and give us bold ideas on how to bring government and industry together. He did just that, and that is why we are backing his ideas today.”