Bid for slice of £2bn Government fund to go in

Banbury Cake: Liz Brighouse Liz Brighouse

OXFORDSHIRE’s bid for a growth fund from central Government has been approved by the county council.

At a meeting in County Hall yesterday Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet approved the strategic economic plan which will be submitted to the Government at the end of this month.

The plan will set out how it wants to keep the county’s economy growing based on innovation.

If ministers look with favour on Oxfordshire’s plan, it will mean the county will get access to a £2bn Government fund. Speaking at yesterday’s meeting Liz Brighouse, the Labour leader of the opposition, said: “I think this is super and brings together issues right across the county.

“We need to raise the aspirations of local people so they can get hightech jobs.”

If the Government approves it, the partnership will be invited to negotiate a deal.

The Government has said this would mean Oxfordshire would be given more influence on how national programmes are carried out in the area.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine, as well as Lib Dem peer Lord Shipley, have been appointed to advise ministers on the proposals which England’s 39 local enterprise partnerships bring forward.

Oxfordshire’s strategic economic plan builds on the City Deal which was signed earlier this year, providing the county with investment of £55m.

Talks on local growth deals will begin in June and end by April 2015.

 

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