Local Enterprise Partnership welcomes chancellor’s Budget

JPCT 180313 Coast 2 Capital, Ron Crank. Hurst Road, Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 180313 Coast 2 Capital, Ron Crank. Hurst Road, Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin

Coast to Capital, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) covering the Horsham district has commended the chancellor’s 2013 Budget.

Reacting to the Budget statement, Ron Crank, chief executive of the Coast to Capital, said: “Given the constraints placed on the Chancellor by the prevailing difficult economic conditions, I am particularly pleased that the Budget has focused on helping companies create new jobs and providing improved conditions to encourage growth in business investment from abroad.

“The chancellor’s announcement of a reduction in Corporation Tax is a case in point, and this and other measures will add to the attractiveness of companies doing business in and with our region.

“It is also good to see more support for key sectors including aviation, life sciences and the creative industries, which has been given a further £25m to encourage growth and build skills in the digital content sectors. This additional resource is particularly relevant for our region.

“We also welcome the new allowance that reduces the tax cost of employing people. This measure will create new jobs and help private sector businesses to grow. Furthermore, the boost to the construction sector through increased house building and the infrastructure investment from 2015 are important and positive measures.”

Earlier this week, the Government granted Local Enterprise Partnerships increased responsibility by announcing the acceptance of the majority of recommendations made in Lord Heseltine’s ‘No Stone Unturned’ review.

As a result, greater powers will be handed to LEPs to manage budgets in order to make local choices that will benefit local economies.

The Government is expected to allocate to all LEPs, including the Coast to Capital LEP, new public funding in 2013/14 and 2014/15 to deliver local economic strategies as part of the National Growth Plan.

Mr Crank added: “”The Government has sent a very clear message that funding will be made available for LEPs who produce viable plans to unleash local growth. We are collaborating with the business community and our partners to ensure we have a robust Growth Plan which protects the interest of the Coast to Capital region.”

To read a full interview with Ron Crank see the County Times’ next Business Matters supplement on Thursday April 11.