England

South West development agency sells assets worth £40m

The South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) is to sell £40m-worth of assets before it closes, it says.

The 33 assets from its portfolio - in Cornwall, Plymouth and Gloucester - include land, business parks and industrial estates.

The RDA said it was in talks with the local authorities in the areas affected about possibly selling them some.

Councils affected said they were involved in negotiations, but that no decision had been taken.

The RDA is selling the assets after getting permission from the government to do so.

It said the sales would allow the sites to continue to be developed for the benefit of local economies.

All of England's nine RDAs are due to close by March 2012 and are being replaced by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) of councils and businesses.

The South West RDA was being scrapped because it "didn't work", Prime Minister David Cameron told people in Cornwall at a "PM Direct" event last July.

Mr Cameron said LEPs would know local needs better than a regional body.

The RDA is discussing the asset sales with Cornwall Council, Plymouth City Council and Gloucester City Council.

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