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South East Local Enterprise Partnership submits plans for £1.2bn of government cash to create 200,000 jobs and build 100,000 new homes by 2021

14 January 2014
by Chris Price

A group of business leaders has submitted draft plans for £1.2bn of government money as part of their goal to spur £10bn of investment in the South East by 2021.

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (South East LEP) aims to generate 200,000 private sector jobs and build 100,000 new homes.

The Strategic Economic Plan submitted this month sets out a programme for growth supported by public and private investment funds, plus new road and rail infrastructure.

It also commits to built 2,015 new homes by 2015.

South East LEP’s growth plan covers Kent and Medway, Essex, Southend, Thurrock and East Sussex, an area which contributes £63 billion a year to the national economy.

Chairman Peter Jones said: “Submitting this draft plan to government is just the start.

“Tough decisions are being made and tight deadlines met as we take this major step forward to drive economic growth.

Peter Jones, chairman of South East Local Enterprise Partnership

Peter Jones, chairman of South East Local Enterprise Partnership

“The South East is the most exciting place to do business in the UK and the South East LEP is the most powerful in terms of both scale and reach. Our strategy demonstrates this.”

If approved, the plan would see 20,000 private sector jobs created every year up to 2021, an increase of 11.4%.

At the heart of the growth plans is a proposal to establish a family of funds – the South East Fund or SEFUND – to attract new private, public and European investment.

SEFUND will extend access to finance schemes to businesses across the South East LEP area and invest in property where markets are failing to kick start development.

Mr Jones added: “We recognise that the growth deal is a competitive process but by combining and turning our size and local economic diversity to our advantage, we offer some of the most compelling infrastructure and business investment opportunities in the country.

“We intend to use this to attract new sources of public, private and community investment to unleash the potential of this dynamic part of the UK.”

A total of £2bn a year, for five years, is to be made available to the 39 LEPs through the government’s Single Local Growth Fund.

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