The Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has been awarded £60m of European funding in order to aid economic growth in the county.

The Government has handed LEPs responsibility for the delivery of EU Structural and Investment funds for 2014 – 2020 as part of its commitment to find local solutions for local growth.

LEPs will be responsible for designing and delivering strategies on how best to use this funding based on a number of priority areas set out by the European Commission and Westminster.

These are:

• innovation, research and technological development
• support for small businesses
• the low carbon economy
• skills
• employment
• social inclusion
• ICT
• rural issues

The Hertfordshire LEP is now putting together a European funding strategy and has begun consulting key stakeholders from the public, private and voluntary sectors to ensure that the plan reflects the needs of local business communities.

Local Enterprise Partnership Chair John Gourd said: “It makes sense that local experts take on the responsibility for decision making in their area. Our LEP has worked hard to identify economic development priorities for Hertfordshire and I welcome the opportunity to direct funding towards areas that really need investment.”

Stakeholders have been invited to have a say on their funding priorities at a consultation event hosted by the LEP on 12 September.

Once complete, The European Funding Strategy will make up part of the LEP’s over arching growth strategy for the next 20 years.

You can find out more about the Hertfordshire LEP’s Growth and European Funding strategies on our website www.hertfordshirelep.co.uk

Follow the LEP on Twitter @hertslep