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September 11, 2012 9:09 am
The problem: Ministers scrapped regional development agencies, which administered funds and assistance to business in an attempt to cut costs. The challenge is to continue to foster growth in the regions.
What has been done: RDAs have been replaced by local enterprise partnerships, loose partnerships of councils and businesses. A new regional growth fund has been set up to dish out grants to companies through an independent claims process. More than 20 enterprise zones will be created with low taxation regimes.
Verdict: LEPs have not been widely praised in their early months. The growth fund has been sharply criticised by the Whitehall spending watchdog for acting slowly and costs of £60,000 per job created.
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