South West and our LEP snubbed in budget

Lots of “talking up” by LEP members tonight – but nothing to talk up except competitive access to general “funds” that rarely seem to materialise.

Not the brightest buttons in the budget box then …!

“The Westcountry has been snubbed in major funding pledges for the UK regions.

In his budget statement yesterday, Chancellor Philip Hammond gave special mention to the Northern Power House, Midlands Engine, and high speed rail HS2 with half of a £1.7bn transforming cities pots pledged to six elected metro mayor regions.

Tim Jones, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Business Council, said: “We have been snubbed and I’m afraid to say it, but it’s the Cinderella South West yet again.” …

… Chris Garcia, Chief Executive of the HoSW LEP said that region is primed with potential to help create the “global Britain” that the Chancellor referred to in his speech.

“However, we were disappointed not to be name checked in the speech or the budget, and that the focus is very much on specific cities with particular emphasis on those that have opted for an elected Mayor.

“It’s our aim, along with our partners in business, the local authorities and the other south west LEPs, to demonstrate the immense contribution that can be delivered from our potentially thriving region: The Great South West – which can rival the economies of the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine. We need to drive this message home to the front benches of Westminster and show the country what we’re worth.”