With the widening gap between the population growth of our area we must renew the physical and intellectual capital of the South East to ensure that suitable infrastructure is in place to support that population and allow it to thrive economically.
The proposals we made to the government’s Growth Deal provide the infrastructure required to support short and medium term growth; aligned with our longer-term growth vision to transform the South East.
Growth Deals are a £12 billion national long-term programme to revitalise local economies. They provide funds to local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), partnerships between local authorities and businesses for projects that benefit the local area and economy.
Through Growth Deals, Local Enterprise Partnerships can seek freedoms, flexibilities and influence over resources from Government, and a share of the Local Growth Fund to target their identified growth priorities. This includes putting forward activity and projects led by partners as part of a package bid.
There are have been three rounds of Local Growth Funds between 2014 and 2017 which funds projects which will deliver up to 2021.
Growth Deals 1, 2 and 3
Our first Growth Deal with Government was announced in July 2014. This was extended in January 2015. Government announced a further round of Growth Deals with LEPs at the Budget in March 2016, Growth Deal 2. Our third Growth Deal was announced in February 2017.
£570m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock
In total the SELEP Growth Deal with Government has brought nearly £600m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock and over the lifetime of the Deal (2015-2021) we aim to deliver 78,000 jobs and 29,000 homes.
The deal and brings new responsibilities and flexibilities and is set to attract a further £960 million extra investment into the South East over the five years.
Growing Places Fund
Through the GPF Round 1 awards, a total of £48.705m GPF was awarded to 13 capital infrastructure projects across the LEP area.
Recycled loan scheme
GPF works as a recycled loan scheme regenerating funds based on the repayment schedules agreed for projects already financed.
GPF loan repayments have started to be made from these initial Round 1 GPF loan investments which has enabled eight projects to be identified for further loan investment. These projects were identified by SELEP Federated Boards as meeting the GPF eligibility criteria aligning with the following five themes:
- Employment and Skills
- Job creation and Enterprise Zones
- Homes, Communities and Culture
- Strategic Connectivity
- SELEP Sector Group Activities including Transport & Strategic Infrastructure, Coastal Communities, Creative, Growth Hub, Housing, Rural, Skills (Further Education and Higher Education) and Tourism.
Re-investment of £9.3m GPF until 2019/20
In November 2017 the SELEP Strategic Board agreed to prioritise the re-investment of £9.3m GPF until 2019/20 in eight new GPF projects. These eight GPF Round 2 projects will now get underway as the funding becomes available through the repayment of existing GPF loans.
For all GPF Round 2 projects, final approval of the GPF loan award is required by SELEP Accountability Board following the Independent Technical Evaluator review of the Project Business Case.
Independent Technical Review process
Further information about the Independent Technical Review process is available here. The Business Case has been published for each GPF Round 2 project which has been considered by the Accountability Board to date.