£500m to boost regional growth

The Fund will put local businesses and organisations in the driving seat, with the 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships able to apply for the funding and then take decisions about what to prioritise locally.

Councils will support these plans with their technical and financial expertise - leaving Local Enterprise Partnerships free of red tape and better able to focus their attentions on ensuring the funds go to where they will be used most effectively.

And to ensure work can start straight away to help get Britain building again, all £500 million will be allocated from the end of January 2012.

The Growing Places Fund 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, Local Enterprise Partnerships will be able to offer secure funding to developers in their area, making it quicker for projects to get off the ground but also securing a return on that investment for the local area.

Types of projects could include early development of strategic link roads and access works to unlock major mixed-use developments, provision of flood storage capacity to enable development of homes, employment space and retail space, and works to improve local connectivity and reduce congestion through interventions such as extending dual carriageways.

Ministers have published indicative allocations of fund to each of the 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships, including £12.9 million for the Liverpool City Region; £23.9 million for the Leeds City Region; £17.4 million for the Local Enterprise Partnership covering Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire; £14.9 million for Birmingham and Solihull; nearly £40 million for London; and £14.2 million for the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "The £500 million Growing Places Fund will unlock much-needed local infrastructure and get the homes we need built. It will be Local Enterprise Partnerships, made up of the people and businesses who know their local areas best, who will decide where this cash boost will be spent.

"I now want to see these partnerships coming together and finding innovative ways to unlock local sites and help get Britain building again."

Further reading