A MAJOR economic boost for the whole of Northamptonshire is expected to be announced by the Government.
The Chronicle & Echo understands that Government officials are due to announce imminently that the whole county will be declared part of a new ‘enterprise partnership’.
The move will mean the county will be able to secure extra sources of Government funding to promote business growth and will have its voice heard on the national, and international stage.
It is expected the move would help boost the county’s motorsports industry as well as its distribution and logistics sectors.
Although an official announcement on the move had not been made by the Government as the Chron went to press last night, it is believed that a number of high-ranking officials in the county had been ‘tipped off’ that it was due to be confirmed soon.
Welcoming the expected announcement, the Conservative MP for Northampton South, Brian Binley, said: “This is really big news for Northamptonshire.
“It will give us control over our own economic destiny and means we’ll have got the resources to drive Northamptonshire forward. We want to attract at least 400 new companies to Northamptonshire and this will allow us to do that. I’m delighted the Government is going to give us the go-ahead for this, it will really allow us to push Northamptonshire forward.”
When Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet met last week, the authority’s chief executive, Paul Blantern, confirmed that he expected the announcement to be made this week.
Discussing the aims of the proposals, he said: “Want we want is new jobs for Northamptonshire and a successful economy.”
The Government set up Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to allow councils, businesses and universities to tackle issues including housing, transport and employment. Northampton is already part of the South East Midlands LEP, which also includes Bedford Luton and Milton Keynes.
Already, the South East Midlands LEP has secured the creation of the Northampton Enterprise Zone, which is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to the town. The creation of the wider, Northampton LEP, has been backed by the seven borough councils in the county as well as the county council and businesses.