Heseltine’s local growth funding initiative gets fraction of budget

MICHAEL Heseltine’s local growth fund was backed by Osborne yesterday, although the chancellor pledged just £2bn a year over the next parliament, a fraction of the £49bn that the Tory peer had proposed.

Regional bodies, known as Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), will be encouraged to bid for funding for projects. Funding for the Single Local Growth Fund – which comes from departmental budgets – will be set out today in the Treasury’s infrastructure review.

Lord Heseltine unveiled his proposals last October, and the large majority won the government’s backing.

LEPs – partnerships between businesses and local authorities – will be allocated the cash based on their plans to encourage growth.

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