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Supporting the regions - A joint response to changing economic circumstances

Supporting the regions - A joint response to changing economic circumstances

HM TREASURY News Release (PN 84/08) issued by The Government News Network on 30 July 2008

Today, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP, launched a new programme of regional engagement, consulting on how various agencies can work together to provide a strong regional response to the changing economic circumstances, and provide support for regional business and households. The launch also provided the opportunity to seek advice from regional and local partners on the investment priorities for over £22bn of regional economic development to be spent across England over the coming years.

Launched at the headquarters of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Development Agency (Yorkshire Forward), the framework for this ongoing work was set out in a joint paper, The Yorkshire and Humber economy: a joint response to changing economic circumstances.

This is the first in a series of papers to be published by Regional Development Agencies and other regional bodies, in conjunction with the Treasury and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and also provided the opportunity for the announcement of new support for financial services and manufacturing business in Yorkshire, as well as expanded rapid response teams to ensure that anyone made redundant in the region can quickly re-enter the labour market.

Speaking at today's event, Yvette Cooper said:

"Global economic problems mean that businesses and families in every region will face tougher times ahead, but our regional economies are much stronger now after years of investment and growth. So we are determined that Government, along with regional and local agencies, will work to ensure that businesses and households get the support they need. Looking ahead, we need to continue to make the investment that has supported regional regeneration and growth in the past, to ensure that growth continues well into the future."

The Government is today launching the second round of the Regional Funding Advice (RFA) exercise, by publishing Regional Funding Advice: guidance on preparing advice. It is seeking views on how the £22bn of regional economic development should be spent in support of their long-term priorities, including for elements of transport, economic development, housing and regeneration and to support sustainable economic growth. The advice will enhance the regions input into policy development and public spending decisions that affect the regions.

Notes for Editors

1. Today the Government and Yorkshire Forward published, Supporting businesses in Yorkshire and humber - A joint response to changing economic circumstances: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/documents/uk_economy/regional_economies/ukecon_economy_regional.cfm

This is the first in a series of documents to be produced in each region

2. The Review of Sub National Economic Development and Regeneration announced that the Government would run a second, expanded RFA exercise, building on the 2005-06 exercise. Today, the Government has published Regional Funding Advice: Guidance on preparing advice. The guidance provides indicative funding allocation for transport, economic development, housing and regeneration investment in each region and seeks their advice on priorities for development within these streams. The guidance also sets out how regions should integrate skills advice alongside other investment decisions. The funding streams have been projected forward to provide regional partners, businesses and the third sector with a stable investment framework in which to work and plan. This document can be found at: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/consultations_and_legislation/devolving_decision_making/regional_funding_advice.cfm

3. This round of the RFA contains almost double the funding included in the first exercise; with new streams such as transport block funding, English Partnerships funding and European Regional Development Funds. For the first time, the RFA also asks for regions' advice on skills priorities as part of the overall package of advice.

Non-media enquiries should be addressed to the Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit on 020 7270 4558 or by e-mail to public.enquiries@hm-treasury.gov.uk

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