A third major funding round has just been announced by the Government for Local Enterprise Partnerships. This means potentially large sums of money for local transport schemes and business expansion.
Yet to date most of the money awarded to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership from the previous two rounds of funding has gone elsewhere in the county and not to North East Cambs. I hope both Fenland and East Cambs district councils will now publish the schemes and amounts bid for via the LEP for this third round having learnt the lessons from the previous two rounds, and set out how this compares with the bids made by other districts. We cannot afford to miss out a third time.
The LEP should also confirm, following their forthcoming board meeting, that funding for Wisbech Rail will be their largest application in this third round. After all, the Secretary of State for Local Government Greg Clark who is administering this scheme and deciding on successful bids has personally been to Wisbech recently to see the rail proposal and endorsed it. So how much more encouragement does Cambridgeshire LEP board need?!
This is a key opportunity for our area. If the Wisbech 2020 work is to remain meaningful, the LEP must secure major funding from this third round. I hope we will get urgent public statements for constituents from the relevant key players at the LEP and councils confirming this will be done, so that I can in turn lobby ministers directly based on strong local bids.