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Strategic Economic Plan submitted to Government

1 April 2014

An economic growth strategy for the South East Midlands has been submitted to government, with South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) pitching for a share of the £2billion Local Growth Fund.

This strategy, known as the Strategic Economic Plan, details how SEMLEP will by 2020 grow the economy by £10.2billion, create an additional 94,700 jobs and build an extra 70,600 homes across its patch in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes, Cherwell District and Aylesbury Vale District.

MPs, University Vice Chancellors, FE Principals and businesses including Silverstone, Santander, Lockheed Martin and General Motors UK have added their signatures of support to SEMLEP’s Plan, urging government to embrace the economic contribution the South East Midlands can make to the UK’s overall prosperity.

Dr Ann Limb, Chair of SEMLEP, explained: “This is an ambitious five year plan to deliver economic growth in the period up to 2020. We have identified the essential infrastructure that we require to deliver sustainable and balanced growth and have set out our intention to build new homes, grow jobs and ensure we have the skilled workforce needed to fill these positions.”

As part of its Strategic Economic Plan SEMLEP has prioritised over 20 transport and infrastructure projects, including Dunstable’s Woodside Link, the Bedford Western Bypass, London Luton Airport Highway Access and a dual carriageway for the section of the A421 linking Milton Keynes with Junction 13 of the M1.

The prioritised project list is a result of extensive consultation with local businesses, local authorities, the voluntary and community sector and overlapping LEPs.

Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, said: "The Government welcomes the Strategic Economic Plan that the South East Midlands Local Enterprise has published today and looks forward to continued engagement with local civic and business leaders over the next few months on the negotiation of their Growth Deal.The Growth Deal provides a fantastic opportunity for SEMLEP to seek freedoms, flexibilities and influence over resources from government, and a share of the Local Growth Fund to put towards their the growth priorities set out in this Strategic Economic Plan.

“This provides the opportunity to unleash the ambition and creativity of local leaders, by devolving resource and responsibility in return for compelling local economic leadership in pursuit of growth."

The £2billion growth fund is available to all 39 LEPs, who will effectively compete with each other for the funding, which will be available from April 2015. Government are expected to make their funding decisions by July 2014, at which time SEMLEP’s Growth Fund Task Group, which will include representatives of overlapping LEPs, will manage and monitor delivery of the programme.

Alongside funding from the Local Growth Fund SEMLEP has also submitted to Government its strategy for how to use £75million of European Funds. Further details will be available on how to access these funds later in the year.

Download our full SEP documents:

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