LEP floats plans for £700m economic boost
by Jim Dunton Thu 9 January 2014, 3:00 pm
Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has submitted plans to ministers that aim to boost the sub-region's economy by £700 million over the next six years.
Its draft Strategic Economic Plan proposes a range of measures to inspire local young people to be suitably ambitious for the future, ensure that the sub-region’s firms are not restricted by a lack of appropriately-skilled labour, and make the LEP area’s towns genuine hubs in the “ideas economy”.
In return, the LEP is seeking a share of the government’s £2 billion Single Local Growth Fund to support the plan.
LEP chair Steve Lamb said the submission was the start of a negotiation process with Whitehall over what would be a major new investment opportunity for the sub-region.
“Thames Valley Berkshire generates an economic output of around £30 billion, which accounts for just over 2 per cent of the national economy,” he said.
“The aim of the SEP is to seek a significant proportion of the ‘pot’ to enable us to drive our economy to even greater heights.
“We are committing – through our Strategic Economic Plan – to deliver an uplift of around £700 million by 2020, so our Gross Value Added will be £32.4 billion, £700 million higher than our baseline projection for 2020 of £31.7 billion.
“We need our businesses to reinvest confidently in Thames Valley Berkshire and we want government to support us in our commitment to boost the local economy and further increase the scale of the net contribution we already make to the UK Exchequer."