Published: 08:56, 23 July 2019
| Updated: 08:57, 23 July 2019
The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) says it has overseen the investment of more than £90million into the region over the last 12 months.
Holding its AGM in London, it confirmed £94m had been allocated from the Local Growth Fund and the Growing Places Fund to help fuel the economy.
As a consequence, 3,600 new jobs and 2,000 new homes had been created.
It comes as SELEP faces a threat to its current make-up from fuming council chiefs who have suggested Kent and Medway break away from the organisation in a row over the number of councillors elected to its board.
SELEP covers a vast area which stretches across East Sussex, Kent, Medway, Essex, Southend and Thurrock.
Speaking after the meeting, Christian Brodie, chair of SELEP, said: "Thanks to our speakers we were able to focus on the issue of productivity, and see how the theory, when combined with the policy of government, can be put into practice to support business growth and our area's communities.
"Our annual report highlights just how successful we as a LEP are at getting funds out of the door, delivering projects and making our economy more resilient to the challenges it will face in the coming year.
"Although we are the largest LEP in terms of our geographical size it is evident that our communities have many issues in common that collectively we are helping to tackle, so improving the lives of the 4.2 million residents and almost 167,000 businesses.
"We continue to review our practices to ensure they meet the highest standards of accountability. Our partners - the government, businesses and the public - must have trust in us and our processes.
"A challenging year ahead will see a redesign of our board operations, but the foundation of strong partnership will be the basis for our continued work and focus to drive sustainable growth for the south east."
Among the guest speakers at the AGM was business minister Lord Henley.
He said: "It was inspiring to hear how the investments being made into the South East are helping drive economic growth and productivity across the region.
"Our annual report highlights just how successful we as a LEP are at getting funds out of the door, delivering projects and making our economy more resilient."
"We are working on the development of a Local Industrial Strategy that will build on the many unique strengths of the south east, creating high-quality, well paid jobs and prosperous communities to the benefit of everyone working and living in the region."