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Local Enterprise Partnerships (Devolution)

Volume 580: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2014

5. What discussions he has had with the Leicester and Leicestershire local enterprise partnership on devolving powers and responsibilities from central Government. (903982)

I was in Leicestershire on 24 March this year to launch the Leicester and Leicestershire city deal, when I visited the Loughborough university science and enterprise park. The city deal will support the expansion of the science park by opening up new employment land. It will also increase investment in youth employment schemes and give tailored business support.

Last Friday, I spoke at the “North West Leicestershire means business” event at the world-famous Donington Park race track in my constituency. At the event, we heard contributions from the Leicester and Leicestershire enterprise partnership about their efforts to promote economic growth. Will my right hon. Friend outline how he believes the recent city deal will help to promote further economic growth across the county of Leicestershire?

I will indeed. I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his support for the city deal, which includes not only the city of Leicester but the whole of the county of Leicestershire. One of the features of the city deal proposed by local businesses was to give support and guidance to small businesses that are seeking to expand. Grants of up to £1 million are available to small businesses throughout Leicestershire that have that potential. I know that he drew the scheme to the attention of his businesses and I hope that he will continue to do so.