By Marcus Leach
After months of hard negotiations, the Greater London Authority (GLA) was able to confirm the London Development Agency’s (LDA) financial settlement from government for the next three years.
The LDA will receive a total of £388m, spread over the forthcoming financial years including 2013-14, allowing key commitments to continue in the areas of youth opportunities, skills and employment and the green economy, all in addition to the 2012 Games and revolutionising London’s transport network.
The budget received will allow the GLA Group to continue key successful programmes set up by the London Development Agency; helping people access and remain in employment, regenerating some of London’s more deprived areas and promoting London overseas to tourists and businesses, plus attracting further investment in the capital.
"I am delighted to announce that the settlement received by London for economic development is good news for Londoners," Simon Milton, Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff, announcing the settlement to the London Assembly said.
"Over forthcoming weeks we will be able to confirm the contractually committed projects which provide Londoners value for money, and to expand investment to further support London’s economy.
"The economic development budget received today complements the strong transport settlement we received in the autumn. It will allow us to create opportunities for Londoners and small businesses; it will support our work with boroughs across London; and it will make a real difference to young people and our green commitments. It provides a solid foundation to our economic activity over the coming years."
Over the next three years, this settlement will allow the GLA Group to continue to invest in youth opportunities at a time when unemployment has hit young people particularly hard; continue to support and expand uniformed groups, and to develop mentoring and volunteering opportunities. We will also continue to deliver projects supporting youth apprenticeships, and opening up education, training and skills opportunities to young people and young ex-offenders.
The GLA Group will also continue to invest in climate change programmes, leveraging further funds from the London Green Fund and other European programmes. Projects to retrofit homes and buildings will be delivered and we will continue our work on the Low Carbon Zones, supporting the Mayor’s ambition to make London a global leader in the transition to a low-carbon economy.