By Matthew Barrett
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A new plank of the Coalition's growth strategy, a £500m growth fund, has been announced today. The Growing Places Fund, to be operational early next year, is primarily aimed at developing infrastructure projects, and getting currently-stalled projects up and running.
The Fund is to be used by the government's Local Enterprise Partnerships and local councils, and the fund will be distributed locally, by-passing the red tape usually encountered in local development projects.
The Department for Communities and Local Government website says:
"Types of projects could include:
- early development of strategic link roads and access works to unlock major mixed-use developments, enabling the delivery of homes and commercial space - leading to the creation of jobs and securing private investment
- 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, enabling developments to be taken forward sustainably."
The largest amounts awarded from the fund will go to the following regions:
- £50m for the devolved administrations
- £39.4m for London
- £32.5m for the South East
- £24.7m for Greater Manchester
- £23.9m for the Leeds City Region
- £17.4m for the Local Enterprise Partnership covering Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
- £16.7m for the North East
- £15m for Coast to Capital
- £14.9m for Greater Birmingham and Solihull
- £14.4m for Enterprise M3
- £14.2m for the Heart of the South West
- £13.1m for the South East Midlands
- £12.9m for the Liverpool City Region
- £12.8m for Lancashire
- £12.3m for Sheffield City
- £12m for New Anglia
- £12m for Solent
"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."