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Heseltine Review

Volume 564: debated on Thursday 13 June 2013

19. What discussions he has had on taking forward the recommendations of Lord Heseltine that regeneration funding be devolved to local enterprise partnerships. (159373)

I have regular discussions. As our response to Lord Heseltine’s report made clear, the Government will be creating a single local growth fund for local enterprise partnerships from April 2015, which will include housing, transport and elements of skills funding. The size and content of the single local growth fund will be confirmed at the spending review.

On 18 March, the Treasury accepted Lord Heseltine’s proposals on devolving regeneration funding to local enterprise partnerships from 2015, but in late April the Business Secretary briefed journalists that we will not be going down that road. Will the Minister tell us whether the Business Secretary backs the Government’s plans to implement Lord Heseltine’s recommendations by 2015?

My right hon. Friend certainly does so. It is up to local leaders in each local enterprise partnership to identify their growth priorities and to set them out in their local economic strategies, and those growth strategies might well include regeneration. The hon. Lady will know that Humber has the largest enterprise zone in England. It has already had some £50 million of assistance from the regional growth fund and is well placed to exploit the opportunities arising from offshore renewable industries, as I saw when I met the partnership there earlier this year.