By Max Clarke

Local Enterprise Partnerships were given extra help today when they received a share of the £5 million start-up fund to get up and running.

Partnerships were asked to bid for a share of the funding which will help them finance things such as training and other initial costs as they work towards establishing themselves.

The Government received 32 proposals from the partnerships, totalling £5.5 million. Of the bids received, 18 partnerships have been offered their bid in full and 14 have been offered a reduced amount. The minister made the announcement as he met with the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly local enterprise partnership.

“It’s important we give Local Enterprise Partnerships, such as the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly partnership,“ said Business Minister Mark Prisk, “as much support as we can as they set themselves up and identify what their priorities are.

“The start-up fund will allow them to pay for things such as training for the board members, as well as support their work engaging with the wider business community. In some cases, the partnerships have come up with some really innovative ways of using this money.

“This financial support will help the partnerships move up a gear. I’ve heard today about the plans for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and I’m looking forward to hearing about how further LEPs translate the ideas we’ve seen into real action to help businesses in their area and unlock growth.”

The start up fund is a one off pot of money for 2011-12. As part of each partnership’s bid, they had to demonstrate how they would become self-sustaining in the future.

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