At its regional Cabinet meeting in Bradford today, the Government confirmed its intention to abolish Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in England, and its intention to replace RDAs with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Commenting, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“Whatever new structures emerge, it is clear that local business leaders need to play a central role in defining every area’s economic future. So businesses, and Chambers of Commerce, must be at the heart of new Local Enterprise Partnerships.

 

“Given the long-standing economic challenges that face so many parts of the country, business must be assured that private sector growth, job creation, and balanced local economies are LEPs’ overriding priorities.”

 

Commenting on the Government’s plans to set up a £1bn Regional Growth Fund, Mr Frost added:

 

“While business will wait to see detailed plans on the proposed Regional Growth Fund, what’s clear from the outset is that the Fund will have significantly less resources to support business growth than previous arrangements. While business has been fully supportive of the Government’s drive to reduce the UK’s deficit, we believe that investment in the business environment must remain a key priority – especially in those areas of the country that have not seen significant private-sector growth.”