Extra £1bn for Growth Deals announced

This includes additional cash for transport upgrades linked to plans to boost the economy.

The local enterprise partnership projects winning the further funds, announced in the Autumn Statement, is for a range of infrastructure and skills initiatives, but includes improvements to transport to unlock developments to create thousands of new homes.

There are also funds for investment in innovation and new technologies to improve transport.

Lord Heseltine said the first round of Growth Deals he had recommended had proved the model could work well, and the further set represented "the most bottom-up approach to growth that I have seen in my life time, and the opportunity that it offers to local areas to drive their own agenda is huge".

Each of the 39 LEPs were invited to submit a strategic ecoomic plan outlining their local priorities for a share of a Growth Fund of at least £2bn a year to maximise growth last spring. The first allocation were announced in the summer.

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