MILTON Keynes is one of the cities that could benefit from a slice of a potential £2billion pot which South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnerhip (SEMLEP) is bidding for.
The Strategic Economic Plan details how SEMLEP will by 2020 grow the economy by £10.2billion, create an additional 94,700 jobs and build an extra 70,600 homes across its patch in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes, Cherwell District and Aylesbury Vale District.
MPs, University Vice Chancellors, FE Principals and businesses including Silverstone, Santander, Lockheed Martin and General Motors UK have added their signatures of support to SEMLEP’s plan, urging government to embrace the economic contribution the South East Midlands can make to the UK’s overall prosperity.
Dr Ann Limb, Chair of SEMLEP, explained: “This is an ambitious five year plan to deliver economic growth in the period up to 2020.
“We have identified the essential infrastructure that we require to deliver sustainable and balanced growth and have set out our intention to build new homes, grow jobs and ensure we have the skilled workforce needed to fill these positions.”
As part of its Strategic Economic Plan SEMLEP has prioritised over 20 transport and infrastructure projects, including a dual carriageway for the section of the A421 linking Milton Keynes with Junction 13 of the M1.
The prioritised project list is a result of extensive consultation with local businesses, local authorities, the voluntary and community sector and overlapping LEPs.
The £2billion growth fund is available to all 39 LEPs, who will effectively compete with each other for the funding, which will be available from April 2015. Government are expected to make their funding decisions by July 2014, at which time SEMLEP’s Growth Fund Task Group, which will include representatives of overlapping LEPs, will manage and monitor delivery of the programme.
Alongside funding from the Local Growth Fund SEMLEP has also submitted to Government its strategy for how to use £75million of European Funds.
Further details will be available on how to access these funds later in the year.