South East LEP (South East Local Enterprise Partnership)

...creating the most enterprising economy in England

Our Growth Deal and Strategic Economic Plan

Our Growth Deal

Our Growth Deal and Strategic Economic Plan

South East LEP (SELEP) has secured £442.2 million in funding from HM Government to boost economic growth - with a particular focus on transport schemes that will bring new jobs and homes until 2021

See the details of our Growth Deal HERE

The funding has been awarded following SE LEP’s submission of proposals for an innovative ‘Growth Deal’ to drive economic expansion over the next six years. With the support of businesses, local authorities and education leaders from across the area, these proposals were submitted at the end of March 2014.

SE LEP’s Growth Deal will unlock funding from the Government’s ‘Local Growth Fund’ and will see £442.2 million made available for the SE LEP area. This includes £358.2 million for new growth schemes on top of £74 million already committed for large transport projects. The Deal will see at least £84.1 million invested in the SE LEP area next year, supporting the delivery of up to 35,000 jobs and 18,000 new homes and over £100 million in private investment over the 6 year period.

Click here to view the SE LEP Growth Deal FACT SHEET

SE LEP can also now bid separately for additional funding from HM Government for other non-transport schemes – increasing the amount that has already been secured. This chance to bid for further funding provides an incentive for SE LEP partners to demonstrate their ability to deliver schemes which generate real growth, homes and jobs, positioning the area well to succeed with future bids.

Through the Growth Deal priority will be given to:

  • Improving transport links – including 33 schemes to start next year. These will address congestion problems, encourage sustainable travel and, vitally, open up access to major new sites for housing and business development;
  • Increasing business productivity – including the development of an innovative network of ‘Growth Hubs’ to provide effective small business support services;
  • Raising skills – including significant investment in teaching premises and equipment focused on priority fields such as science and engineering; and
  • Accelerating delivery of housing schemes across the region

The Growth Deal also brings a commitment from HM Government to develop new local freedoms to help support delivery of new jobs and homes. Through The Growth Deal, Government funding will allow for significant flexibility in how projects are delivered. SE LEP and its partners will be able to review scheme priorities with the Government on a quarterly basis, making changes as necessary according to local need and in light of emerging opportunities to ensure maximum impact.


HM Government has also given its backing to SE LEP’s proposal to create a South East Fund -‘SEFUND’ – a professionally managed, recyclable fund to accelerate investment in infrastructure and property developments to enable significant business expansion and jobs. SE LEP will work with HM Government to put the operational measures in place to establish SEFUND in the coming weeks.

The Growth Deal, and HM Government’s commitment to SEFUND, will help address years of under-investment in the South East’s transport network. It will help to improve connectivity and provide key links which open up new sites for major housing and business development.

A full list of all projects can be found here. Those specific projects that will start in 2015-16 can be found here.

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

In its response to the Heseltine Review, and in the June 2013 Spending Review, HM Government tasked each Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to develop a new multi-year local growth strategy. It also made available £2 billion per year for England’s 39 LEPs to access between 2015-16 and 2020-21.

In response to this, SE LEP developed its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). The proposals developed through this Plan form the basis of our Growth Deal with HM Government - a deal that devolves significant funding and powers to enable the SE LEP to boost economic growth.

The SELEP submitted it’s Plan to HM Government in March 2014. Since then, we have worked to secure an allocation of £442 million from the government’s ‘Local Growth Fund’ as part of the ’Growth Deal’. This funding includes £81.4 million for 2015/16 which is available to the LEP to invest in growth from April 2015.

For details of the Strategic Economic Plan and Growth Deal bid submitted in March 2014, download the pdfFULL DOCUMENT or by chapter HERE

Our local delivery partnerships, driven by business and local councils, will take forward the schemes supported by Local Growth Fund Money, ensuring maximum impact and value for money.  SE LEP is committed to delivering through local partnerships - we will always ensure delivery is close as possible to our communities, with local partners coming together when scale, additionality and greater impact can be achieved.

EU Funding

In addition to resources secured through the Growth Deal, SE LEP has access to European Structural Investment Funds for the period 2014-2020  These fund are available through both the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) European Programmes.  This allows SELEP to combine resources from both Europe and national government to deliver 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.

Our approach...

The development of all our programmes – including the 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, provided support to develop the strategy. This included developing an 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 South East area, key opportunities for growth were identified – as were the key challenges and barriers to growth that need to be addressed. Based on a shared understanding of these challenges, local partners from business, local authority and the education sector identified priorities for action, and these have been used as a basis for securing funding.

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