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News - 13 November 2005

Council’s economic role moves up the political agenda.

Proposals from H.M. Treasury for Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) funding were announced in March 2005 with £50m being available in the first year. Together with the introduction of the economic regeneration block of the Local Area Agreement (LAA) this is a clear indication that the government wants to see councils leading on economic development.

The principle behind LEGI funding (which will total £300m by 2007/08) is to use innovative projects to boost employment opportunities specifically in deprived areas and the government has made it clear that it wants local authorities to play a leading role in providing local solutions with money that flows directly from The Treasury to local councils.

LEGI funding is aimed specifically at deprived areas and Brighton & Hove has two that could benefit – Moulescoomb and Marine. The government expects only a handful of bids to be successful in the first instance, which could mean between £3m and £5m going to successful schemes but the deadline for the first bids is 9th December.

All applicants must demonstrate that their proposals will: -

  • increase total entrepreneurial activity among the population in deprived local areas;
  • support the sustainable growth – and reduce the failure rate – of locally-owned business in deprived areas; and
  • attract appropriate inward investment and franchising into deprived areas, making use of local labour resources.

In assessing whether these criteria are met, proposals must demonstrate: -

  • the need for the proposal (providing robust evidence of market failure) and its potential to succeed;
  • effective targeting and effective solutions (ensuring that people living in deprived areas benefit and address the fundamental barriers to growth - what will be done and why it will work where other things have not?);
  • integration with local partnerships and consistency with regional and sub-regional Economic Strategies;
  • compatibility with the Local Area Agreement (LAA) and the ability to secure leverage from broader regeneration efforts;
  • the value added and value for money of proposed activities and interventions;
  • significant commitment and sustainability (of resources over the long term, including after LEGI support has ended); and
  • evaluation and evidence building (to inform continuous improvement and the development of future policy).

The Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership (BHEP) will be working with then local authority to develop a bid for LEGI funding.

Read related items on:
Local government
Local Enterprise Growth Initiative
Brighton & Hove City Council
Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership

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