£50million Growing Places Fund announced

The Department for Communities & Local Government has announced a £500million Growing Places Fund to help boost economic growth by getting required built to enable the creation of new jobs and homes and get stalled projects moving again.

The fund will enable local businesses and organisations in the 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), including five in the East Midlands, to apply for funding and then take decisions about what to prioritise locally. Councils will support these plans, leaving LEPs free of red tape and better able to focus their attentions on ensuring the funds go to where they will be used most effectively.

The fund, which will all be allocated by the end of January 2012, can be used to establish revolving funds to take forward a range of projects that can help facilitate economic growth, jobs and housebuilding in the local area, providing returns which can be re-invested locally. Through this, LEPs will be able to offer secure funding to developers in their area, making it quicker for projects to get off the ground and securing a return on that investment for the local area.

Types of projects that can be funded include:

  • Early development of strategic link roads and access works to unlock major mixed-use developments, enabling the delivery of homes and commercial space
  • Provision of flood storage capacity to enable development of homes, employment space and retail space
  • Works to improve local connectivity and reduce congestion through interventions such as extending dual carriageways, enabling developments to be taken forward sustainably.

The department has also published indicative allocations of the fund to each of the LEPs, including nearly £50million in the East Midlands, broken down into the following:

  • Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire - £17,466,313
  • Leicester and Leicestershire - £8,896,731
  • Lincolnshire - £6,493,608
  • Northamptonshire - £3,925,692
  • South East Midlands - £13,100,217

For further information visit http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/regeneration/growingplacesfund.