Business leaders met with Cities Minister Greg Clark MP and former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Heseltine this week (Monday 24 January) to outline their plans to boost Hertfordshire’s economy.

Board members of Hertfordshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership gave the Minister and Tory grandee a tour of the Stevenage BioScience Catalyst before taking them through their economic plan for the county.

Speaking after the meeting, LEP Chairman, John Gourd, said: "This was an important opportunity for us to discuss the LEP’s vision for growth and to demonstrate that Hertfordshire is perfectly placed for business."

"Our economic plan will address the challenges facing our county and enable Hertfordshire to deliver growth."

"As we outlined to the Minister and Lord Heseltine during their visit, for us to fulfil this ambition it is vital that we secure as much funding as possible from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. However, we appreciate that, nationally, the Fund is likely to be over-subscribed and that competition will be fierce".

Mr Gourd added that with targeted investment, Hertfordshire would continue to make a substantial and lasting contribution to UK Plc.

"Local Growth funding will ensure Hertfordshire maximises its global excellence in science, technology and creativity and that its towns are able to reach their full potential," he said.

"Our economic plan sets out the actions that we will take to boost the value of Hertfordshire’s economy and to create 100,000 private sector jobs by 2030."

Mr Clark and Lord Heseltine are visiting a number of LEPs in the south east as part of a national round-robin.

These meetings will help inform how they decide to allocate the £2 billion Local Growth Fund between the 39 LEPs in the country.

"The meeting provided us with invaluable feedback and will help us to make the best possible case for Hertfordshire when we submit the final version in March," said Mr Gourd.

"We will identify several projects that will have a tangible and immediate impact in Hertfordshire, delivering jobs and growth and making a substantial and long-lasting contribution to the economy."