Tesco’s Leahy to stimulate economy in Liverpool

Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco, has been appointed by the Government to drive economic growth in the city.

Meeting members of the Liverpool City Region Shadow Local Enterprise Partnership, Prime Minister David Cameron announced he was commissioning Leahy, a member of the Shadow LEP, Lord Heseltine and other Shadow board members to produce a regional economic plan for the city.

Sir Terry Leahy will be stepping down from his role as chief executive of Tesco in March this year.

The Government said a national LEP summit on growth and competitiveness in the spring will bring together LEP chairs from across the country to prioritise action to stimulate growth at a regional level.

This will be supported by additional money, to help LEPs understand the real issues facing local businesses, from a LEP Capacity Fund.

During a visit to Merseyside, the Prime Minister and Lord Heseltine attended a Regional Growth Fund roadshow, part of a series across the country to encourage local businesses and entrepreneurs to bid for money from the Government's £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund.

Prime Minister David Cameron, said: "In the next few years people all over our country, North, South, East, West, are going to see real change in the way local economies work.

"New Local Enterprise Partnerships, coalitions of business, councils and communities like the one I saw in the Wirral this morning, are already working with business leaders like Terry Leahy to get big local projects off the ground to boost regional growth.

"This is a step change in the way regional growth is driven. And part of that step change is the Regional Growth Fund. We are saying to people: if you've got an idea to bring investment and wealth to your area, the £1.4bn Regional Growth Fund is there to help make those good ideas happen."

Lord Heseltine is undertaking a number of regional roadshows which provide advice on how potential applicants for the Fund can participate in the bidding process and to encourage them to come forward with high-quality proposals that promise to create economic growth and sustainable jobs and help communities to flourish.

The Regional Growth Fund will operate over three years. The first of at least three bidding rounds is now open and the deadline for proposals is 21 January 2011. Further bidding rounds will be announced in early 2011.

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