Lib Dems welcome £14.9 million plan to kick-start local economy

Treasury Minister Danny Alexander has announced details of the coalition government's plan to make £500 million worth of public money available to developers to get housing and commercial projects off the ground. The Growing Places Fund was first announced by Danny Alexander at the Liberal Democrat conference in Birmingham in September. Now he has followed up that pledge by announcing that nearly £15 million is being given to the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Birmingham and Solihull.

LEPs - made up of local councils and businesses - will get the funding and can then decide which infrastructure projects to prioritise in their area. Cllr Ann Holtom (Lib Dem, Tyburn Ward) said: "I very much welcome the injection of Growing Places Funding for Birmingham and Solihull. The money will enable new infrastructure projects to be started, creating jobs and building homes and getting projects moving which have so far stalled because of problems with road access, contaminated land or flood risks. The great thing about this money is that it will be the local partnerships, who understand best what their local areas need most, who will decide where the money is spent. This is a real boost for our area."