Northampton

Northamptonshire and Leicestershire in enterprise link

Two county councils are to set up an enterprise partnership to foster economic growth now the East Midlands Development Agency is to be scrapped.

Northamptonshire and Leicestershire councils are to set up a Local Enterprise Partnership in line with the new coalition government's blueprint.

Jim Harker, Northamptonshire council leader, has discussed the idea with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

"This is a golden opportunity to drive forward new arrangements," he said.

Business figures

The two councils are seeking new ways to boost the economy and enterprise of the joint area, he told a full council meeting on Thursday night.

Mr Harker said: "We are working with Leicestershire and hopefully with others on proposals which would see a partnership set up.

"We want to bring together leading business figures and the public sector to drive investment, planning, infrastructure, skills and employment in our counties.

"We are also already talking to other potentially interested partners who we want to join this Local Enterprise Partnership."

Proposals are to be submitted to government in the coming weeks.

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