£246,000 to aid economic drive

THE Government allocated £246,000 this week to help get moving a vehicle to promote economic growth in the Sheffield City Region.

Money from a new £5m start-up fund is going to the Local Enterprise Partnership, which brings together private and public sectors in the drive for investment and jobs.

Sheffield’s award – the highest nationally – will pay for staff to develop and deliver the work of the LEP, including the rolling out of the Enterprise Zone announced last week.

James Newman, who chairs the local LEP, said the board had been calling on Government for some time “to make real their commitment to the LEPs and their potential by providing practical support on the ground.

“We’re delighted that the Government has responded to this and that the Sheffield City Region LEP has been successful in its bid for much-needed funding.

“Although we have not been awarded everything that we applied for, this money will help the Local Enterprise Partnership set up a team of up to six essential staff and provide a budget for activities that will help us to engage local businesses in the work of the Sheffield City Region.”

The LEP will decide on which parts of the region will benefit from April from Enterprise Zone status, which brings cheaper business rates, superfast broadband and relaxed planning control.

Under consideration are the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Waverley, off the Sheffield Parkway, parts of the Lower Don Valley and the Dearne Valley and the Markham Vale development, off junction 29A of the M1. Up to 12,600 jobs are predicted.