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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Cumbria gets extra £2.1m to 'improve infrastructure'

Cumbria was given an extra £2.1 million to improve infrastructure such as roads and railways in the Budget, the Government has said.

The new cash takes the total received by the county under the Growing Places Fund to £6.6m.

The cash will be channelled through Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Growing Places Fund gives money to local communities to help them alleviate so-called “infrastructure constraints” that might be preventing new homes being built and jobs being created.

The Budget included an extra £270m across England for the fund, while up to £150m will be available for projects in “core cities”.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the fund would provide “upfront and flexible funding” to LEPs. They can use it to boost economic growth fast by getting infrastructure built to enable them to create new homes and jobs, and get stalled projects moving again. Mr Pickles said: “We know that new infrastructure is one of the most important ways to get the economy growing again, support new homes and create long-term jobs and growth.”

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said: “Transport infrastructure projects are often the key to unlocking jobs and growth potential.”

The additional £270m comes from underspending by Whitehall departments, while the extra £150m will be funded through so-called Tax Increment Financing – allowing councils to borrow against future growth in business rates.

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