Budget 2011 saw the launch of the Government's 'Plan for Growth', which set out four overarching ambitions:
To create the most competitive tax system in the G20;
To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business;
To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy; and
To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
Our focus will be on working with Local Enterprise Partnerships as part of the Local Investment Planning process to help them deliver their ambitions for economic growth including the development of Enterprise Zones. Local Enterprise Partnerships are locally-owned business-led partnerships between local authorities and businesses, which play a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs.
The Local Growth White Paper published in October 2010 confirmed that the HCA will continue to have an important role to play, at the request of local authorities, by providing its expertise on housing and physical regeneration. The White Paper also confimed details of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) - a £1.4bn fund operating across England from 2011 to 2014. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment creating economic growth and sustainable employment. It aims particularly to help those areas and communities currently dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity.
Ensuring that our investment delivers more than 'bricks and mortar' by creating local employment and training opportunities and a wide range of community benefits is a key part of our work to support the economic growth of local areas. Our area teams discuss and agree employment and skills initiatives and outcomes with local partners, which are determined by the priorities identified within Local Investment Plans and by Local Enterprise Partnerships.