By Claire West

Commenting on the announcement that Lord Heseltine will lead the independent panel allocating the £1 billion Regional Growth Fund, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “Lord Heseltine will make a most capable chair for the Regional Growth Fund’s approval panel. With his experience in economic development, he understands many of the challenges facing local communities".

“With the scaling back of public spending likely to have a direct impact on local economies in many parts of the country, the fund will play a critical role in getting the conditions right for private sector growth and job creation".

“Chambers of Commerce will be fully engaged in the consultation, helping to decide how the fund should take shape. It is essential that this vital resource is used to promote projects that underpin economic growth — and that projects have the clear and unequivocal backing of local businesses.”