South East LEP (South East Local Enterprise Partnership)

...creating the most enterprising economy in England

Our Growth Deal and Strategic Economic Plan

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Our Growth Deal and Strategic Economic Plan (SEP)

South East LEP is bidding for £1.2 billion from Government to leverage £10 billion investment into the South East to accelerate growth, jobs and house building until 2021.

The ambitious programme set out in our Strategic Economic Plan and Growth Deal was submitted to Government on 31st March 2014.

We aim to generate 200,000 private sector jobs, 100,000 new homes and transform transport and business infrastructure over the next six years.  These plans are supported by a coordinated programme of investment supported by major new public/private funds, across East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock.  The plans are being presented to Ministers as the foundation of an historic ‘Growth Deal’ bringing national and local investment together to provide a boost to the South East economy.

The Plan outlines the SE LEP’s bid for its local Growth Deal – a share of the £2bn national Single Local Growth Fund and it sets out the ‘asks’ of Government to support the delivery of business and economic investment in new ways. We will look to deliver economic growth more quickly and in a way that better suits local needs.

Download the FULL DOCUMENT or choose your chapters HERE.

The SE LEP Growth Deal includes:

·         Establishing a £5.2bn property investment fund, drawing public, private and EU money together to provide the infrastructure necessary to boost business and jobs;

·         Delivering the biggest local transport programme in the country to realise the potential of our towns and cities and to unlock the economic benefits of connectivity;

·         Boosting productivity by bringing together local and national business support services, improving businesses access to finance and encouraging closer links between business, universities and colleges;

·         Investing £128m in skills projects, strengthening employers’ influence over wider skills provision; and,

·         Increasing the pace of housing construction by piloting a new model of housing delivery that will give quicker results and better value for money.


At the heart of the proposal includes plans to use Local Growth Fund to launch a South East Fund (SEFUND), a largely recyclable property investment fund supported by professional fund management expertise. Local authority partners have already made an “in principle” commitment of up to £250m over 6 years to match SEFUND investment to support local growth.

Our local delivery partnerships, driven by business and local councils will ensure maximum impact and value for money. We will always deliver as close as possible to our communities, coming together when scale, additionality and greater impact can be achieved.


A total of £2 billion per year is to be made available to the 39 LEPs across England between 2015-16 and 2020-21.  Having submitted growth deal proposals, SELEP will enter a process of negotiation with Ministers and Whitehall officials over summer 2014.  It is expected that funding awards will be made in Autumn 2014 with new funds available to invest locally from April 2015.


Background to the Strategic Economic Plan, Growth Deal and Local Growth Fund.

In the Government’s response to the Heseltine Review and in the June 2013 Spending Review the Government tasked each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to develop a new multi-year local growth strategy. In response we have developed our Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) for the South East LEP area. This will inform our negotiations with HM Government over the resources and powers that we want to see devolved to us to stimulate economic growth.

Following a process of negotiation which will take place during Summer 2014, an allocation from the Local Growth Fund will be made available to LEPs to invest in growth from April 2015. The level of funding received will reflect:

§  the quality of our strategic proposals and the activity we propose to undertake to bring about growth; and

§  the commitment from all partners in the South East LEP (SE LEP) area to work efficiently and effectively together.

Specific funding for transport and skills is included in the Local Growth Fund for 2015-16 and for the remaining years up to 2020, Government has committed at least £2bn annually to the fund.

At the same time, the LEP also has access to European Structural Investment Funds for the 2014-2020 ERDF and ESF European Programme. This allows us to draw together resources from both Europe and at home to deliver the priorities for delivering economic growth in the South East. The SE LEP European Structural Investment Fund Strategy (ESIF) is aligned to the priorities of the SE LEP Strategic Economic Plan.

For more details of the European Structural and Investment Fund Strategy for the South East LEP area, please click here. This was submitted to Government on 31st January 2014.


The final submission of the Growth Deal was made on 31st March 2014.

This forms the basis for negotiations with Government for the local growth deal, with decision due to be announced before the end of July 2014. The money will available to spend from April 2015

Our approach so far...

The development of the South East Strategic Economic Plan has been guided by the SE LEP Board and partners including local authorities, Higher Education, skills and training providers  and business.

Consultants, Shared Intelligence, have provided additional consultancy support to develop the strategy. This has included developing the evidence base and an analysis of the current state of the SE LEP economy. Through a review of existing strategies and engagement with partners across the LEP area we have identified key opportunities for growth and impediments that need to be addressed. Key activities have been proposed to take forward the priorities and ambitions developed from the local areas upwards.

Throughout the development of the Growth Deal there has been an extensive programme of engagement with businesses, educational and training establishments, voluntary and community groups and other partners. The SE LEP Board has been regularly updated on the progress and these discussions have informed and shaped the content of the Strategic Economic Plan.