Following a 2012 review of local economic growth in the UK, by Lord Heseltine, the UK's then Coalition Government created a national £12billion ‘Local Growth Fund’, with £2billion being distributed in its first year (2015-2016). All 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships across the UK bid for a share of the Fund, by developing Strategic Economic Plans to showcase how they would deliver growth in their area.
Through its Strategic Economic Plan, the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership set out a clear and compelling ambition to rebalance the local economy through delivering 55,000 private sector jobs, a step change in skills and innovation-led business growth over the next ten years.
That business case was submitted at the end of March 2014. After a period of negotiation, in July 2014 the Government announced a Growth Deal which supported D2N2’s key priorities, built on its area’s strengths by investing in major innovations in key sectors , and moved the D2N2 LEP from planning to action to deliver on its ambitions.
D2N2 and the Government's Growth Deal was an agreed £554.4million investment package, to accelerate economic growth across the LEP's area, up to 2021.
The joint investment programme of £554.4million included:
- £174.4m secured from the Government’s Local Growth Fund over six years, with £47.4m of funding confirmed for 2015/16;
- that substantial investment to also unlock almost £380m of additional funds from local partners and the private sector.
D2N2 Chair Peter Richardson (left) with Lord Heseltine on a visit to Nottingham in 2014.