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South East Midlands unveiled as England’s fourth fastest growing economy

2 March 2015

SEMLEP's official Local Growth Deal signing in Milton Keynes earlier this year

The South East Midlands is a big hitter alongside London, Birmingham and Manchester, unveiled as home to the fourth fastest growing Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in England during 2013 – according to a report published this month.

In the Office for National Statistics report, which considers the growth of LEPs between 1997 and 2013, the South East Midlands economy was shown to have grown by 4% in 2013 and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) was flagged up as having the fourth highest annual growth rate in 2013.

In the recently published report growth in the South East Midlands at 4%, compares with London, whilst only Greater Manchester (4.6%)  Black Country (4.5%) and Greater Birmingham and Solihull (4.3%) showed higher growth rates.

SEMLEP, which covers Aylesbury, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire, Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Luton, Milton Keynes, Northampton and South Northamptonshire, is a functional economic area with a population of nearly 2million and over 67,000 VAT registered businesses which generate a £39 billion economy.

Chair of SEMLEP, Dr Ann Limb, OBE DL, said: “The South East Midlands is a national growth area, home to the UK’s fastest growing city, Milton Keynes, and the UK's second 'Garden Town' at Bicester in Oxfordshire, so it is not surprising that SEMLEP has been flagged up as one of the England’s highest growing economies. Our recently signed Local Growth Deals means more jobs and homes for the South East Midlands and our Enterprise Zone in Northampton plays a vital role in driving forward the economy, creating hundreds of jobs and attracting businesses to the town.”

Earlier this year SEMLEP was awarded £126 million in Local Growth Deals, funding which will create thousands of new jobs and homes across the South East Midlands. Projects awarded funding include the regeneration of Bedford town centre, investment into Millbrook Technology Park and an innovation facility at Cranfield University for the development of autonomous vehicles.

Prime Minister David Cameron pledged his support for the South East Midlands this month when he visited SEMLEP’s Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone and the newly expanded Cosworth Advanced Manufacturing Centre, made possible thanks to SEMLEP funding.

Daniel Mouawad, Chief Executive of SEMLEP, said: “Also enabling our economy to thrive is SEMLEP’s Velocity business support programme, which we set up to help small and medium sized businesses to grow, recruit and thrive. Velocity has now engaged with 10,000 businesses and has already awarded 100 revenue and capital grants totalling over £527,000.”

Working with local authority and private sector partners, SEMLEP is primed to deliver the strategic infrastructure and skills projects that are essential for continued economic growth.

You can look back at our 2013/14 SEMLEP highlights here.

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