Skip to main content

Regional Growth

Volume 583: debated on Thursday 26 June 2014

We want to see growth that is sustainable and balanced, but it is local businesses and civic leaders who best understand what drives growth in their area. Through local enterprise partnerships they will have at least £20 billion to allocate until 2020.

May I take this opportunity to welcome the Government’s proposed plans to build a high-speed rail network between our great northern cities? In the light of that announcement will the Minister assure me that local businesses in Fylde and the local enterprise zone in Warton will continue to receive the full support of Government to promote growth in west Lancashire?

Yes, I give my hon. Friend that assurance and tell him that we hope before the summer recess to agree a growth deal with the Lancashire local enterprise partnership, centring on the arc of prosperity it has identified alongside Lancashire’s huge strengths in energy, manufacturing and engineering.

On support for regional growth, when will the financing be agreed for the electrification of the south Wales valleys train lines?

I shall certainly raise that with my colleagues in the Department for Transport. I do not have the date to hand, but I hope that the hon. Gentleman will welcome that investment.

17. Does the Minister agree that it is incumbent on local government leaders, LEPs and local MPs to work with local businesses to ensure that places such as Carlisle maximise their potential as an economic powerhouse in their region? Does he agree also that local government and local businesses are as important as national Government in promoting growth and job creation? (904492)

Yes, I absolutely agree. I thank my hon. Friend and his colleagues for their input into the Cumbria economic plan. I saw that close working for myself when I chaired the recent Cumbria forum on advanced manufacturing.

Regional growth is dependent on good transport connections, and there has been widespread concern in northern Lincolnshire among the business community about the threat to services on the south transpennine line. Will the Minister agree to meet a delegation of business leaders from northern Lincolnshire to discuss that and other issues?

I am very happy to meet any delegation of business leaders with my hon. Friend. I am not the Minister for rail transport, but I shall certainly refer the issue to the Department for Transport, and I am happy to have the meeting that my hon. Friend requests.