Enterprise body attracts £14m into Northamptonshire

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A body set up to help boost the county’s economy has attracted almost £14m of investment in two years.

Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) was set up two years ago and, according to a report to be heard before Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet next week, it has created and safeguarded more than 1,500 jobs, overseen the start-up of 86 businesses and been the catalyst for 21 company investments in the county.

The NEP’s Brussels-based European office, which receives funding of £140,000 annually, has attracted £2m of investment into Northamptonshire with further bids totalling £4m awaiting approval.

Cabinet is recommended to approve continued funding of NEP over the next three years, starting in 2014-2015.

An exact yearly figure will be announced later this year but it is expected to similar to the current amount of £1.45m and reviewed annually.

County council cabinet member for economic growth and public protection Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage said: “There’s no doubt that NEP has been doing an excellent job in creating prosperity in the county and I think these figures are testament to that.

“What’s even more impressive is that these achievements have been reached in very gloomy economic times as the country moves out of recession.

“Increasingly it’s becoming clear that Local Enterprise Partnerships are going to be playing more and more of a role in being the main route of funding into areas from both the government and Europe, so it’s crucial that our very own LEP is supported at this key time.

“NEP is doing a sterling job and that is why I think further funding over the next three years is a sound decision.

“This funding will be subject to performance and an annual review to secure maximum value for the investment.”