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East Midlands Chamber News

East Midlands left out of Government £104m enterprise handout

webkingThe East Midlands will not benefit from a £104m Government handout to encourage business growth and create jobs.

Eighteen projects in 13 enterprise zones will each receive Government help towards building service roads, car parking and other infrastructure, transforming ‘shovel ready sites into job ready sites’.

None of the sites is in the East Midlands although Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester will all get funding.

In addition, five enterprise zones are also receiving £24m to tackle traffic bottlenecks and road congestion near their site through Department for Transport funding.

Again, none is in the East Midlands.

Announcing the funding, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles said: "Enterprise zones are stimulating job creation and economic growth in different parts of the country with their special package of incentives to attractive new business ventures.

"The Government is putting its money where its mouth is and making sure enterprise zones have the buildings and infrastructure they need to make sites ready for business to set up in.

Enterprise zones are proving extremely popular with business - they have already created over 3,000 jobs for local people - a 75 per cent increase in just five months - and many more will be coming down the pipeline because of this new support."

Andy Rose, Chief Executive at the Homes and Communities Agency, which is administering the fund, said: "The response from the enterprise zones to this investment opportunity demonstrates just how crucial upfront infrastructure is to development.

"It is great news that this additional investment means more priority sites can be funded than first thought, creating more jobs in the areas that need them. We will now work with partners to refine the bids and ensure the investment is helping to maximise economic growth in local communities."

This round of investment is just one of range of steps the Government has taken to balance the economy and support local businesses to grow and create jobs.

The Government has reformed the way councils are funded so they have new incentives to go for growth and support local businesses. It has established 39 local enterprise partnerships that along with enterprise zones are able to access millions in Government investment to support their local economy, including the £770m Growing Places Fund and £2.4bn Regional Growth Fund.