Small businesses are backed by Lord Heseltine
Published 21 Mar 2013 10:00 0 Comments
READING'S small businesses could take the driving seat in local economic growth coming from a new Government initiative.
Lord Heseltine visited the new Reading Station development on Monday, after the Government announced it would accept most of his report - No Stone Unturned - and has rejected only five of its 89 points.
The report sets out ways to give local authorities and industry more power, largely in the form of a Single Local Growth Fund from 2015 for skills, housing and transport services, and take control away from the traditional London hub.
David Cook, director of Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, said: "We can now direct funds to the groups with the greatest needs. We speak to so many businesses in the area and knowing about each of them will help us to know where the funds are needed to benefit economic growth."
Head of policy at the Forum of Private Business, Alex Jackman, said: "The general endorsement of the Heseltine Review sounds like a full backing for localism. In June, the Spending Round will challenge the Government to put its money where its mouth is and fully back the Local Enterprise Partnerships.
"This is an incredibly exciting time for local businesses who can have a real say in the transport, education, skills and employment set ups in their local area."
He added: "LEPs have a chance to provide a compelling case for their local area and must consult with small businesses over their priorities."