Wellingborough Council agrees to apply to join group which could open up funding opportunities for the borough

It is hoped joining Semlep will be of benefit to people living in Wellingborough

It is hoped joining Semlep will be of benefit to people living in Wellingborough

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Councillors have agreed to apply to join an organisation which they hope will open up more funding opportunities and benefit people in the borough.

Members of Wellingborough Council’s resources committee agreed that they will seek membership of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) at a meeting last night (Wednesday).

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were set up in 2010 to help encourage and promote economic development and growth.

There were 24 LEPs in the first wave, including SEMLEP covering parts of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

Wellingborough Council did not sign up to it at the time, but has decided that they should join now in the hope that it will bring benefits to people living in the borough and open up new funding opportunities.

Speaking at last night’s meeting, the council’s chief executive John Campbell said: “Somebody said it was probably long overdue to get involved with this organisation.

“Anything that provides us with additional opportunities to expand has got to be a good thing so I would simply recommend it to the committee.”

The committee members agreed with Mr Campbell and the authority will now move forward with its application to become a member, which costs £7,000 per year.

SEMLEP works in collaboration with its local authority and private sector partners and is committed to delivering the strategic infrastructure and skills projects that are essential for economic growth – new jobs and new homes – in the area.