Nick Clegg: Coalition will support growth across whole country

October 28, 2010 1:51 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Lib Dem leader & Deputy PM Nick Clegg has announced plans to kickstart economic growth around the country. A new £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund has been created and the first wave of 24 local enterprise partnerships have been given the green light.

The measures form part of a new approach to regional growth published today in the White Paper on Local Growth.

Nick Clegg said: "For too long growth in the economy has been pinned on a few sectors, like financial services, while other great British industries have been ignored. Prosperity has been confined to certain postcodes while huge swathes of the country have suffered serial neglect.

"The Coalition Government is determined not to repeat these mistakes. We will support growth across the whole country, rewarding hard work and innovation in all of our industries. We understand that areas which rely on the public sector for jobs will need special help.

"Millions of people across Britain are being asked to bear their share of the difficult decisions needed to get the public finances in order. It's only fair that everybody benefits from future growth too.

"Crucially, spreading prosperity across the country also means giving local communities a greater say over how their money is raised and spent. That is why this Government is looking closely at ways of allowing local authorities to keep the business rates they collect."

Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

"I was delighted that so many of the proposals for local enterprise partnerships showed real imagination and initiative and a genuine desire to drive local economic growth. I am pleased to announce that we are asking 24 of these partnerships to set up their boards and get to work.

"The knowledge and expertise of the private sector, local authorities and their local communities will be crucial as we work to create a better environment for business and ensure that everyone has access to the opportunities that growth brings.

"The measures set out in today's White Paper demonstrate the Coalition's ambition to create a fairer and more balanced economy - one that is driven by private sector growth with business opportunities spread more evenly across the country and between industries."