New auditor appointed for Coventry & Warwickshire Growth Fund

Pictured: The Coventry Station Masterplan
Coventry Growth Fund

A Midlands accountancy firm has been appointed to audit the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Growth Fund Programme on behalf of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and Coventry City Council.

Following a competitive tender, the CWLEP has awarded the audit contract to local firm, Harrison Beale & Owen (HB&O).

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Growth Fund is a package of £131 million Capital investment into the local area, matched by public and private investment.

The fund is designed to enable the local area to build on its advanced manufacturing and engineering strengths by investing in new transport infrastructure, public realm, business support and skills investment.

With a number of major infrastructure investment projects completed and more underway, the Local Growth Fund is creating at least 7,500 jobs and apprenticeships and allows 3,400 homes to be built by the end of March 2021.

Investment of this scale requires careful management and close, independent scrutiny to ensure project claims are correct and that funds are used as intended.

HB&O is a well-established and highly respected accountancy practice with a strong track record, having provided auditing services in Coventry & Warwickshire for nearly a century. The firm’s local knowledge and expertise and its cost-effective approach were all key factors in deciding who to appoint.

Nick Abell, vice-chair of the CWLEP, said: “We have been extremely impressed by HB&O’s approach and commitment to client service. The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Growth Fund is vital to the future development of this region and it is essential that we make the most of every investment.

“We are very confident in HB&O’s ability to interrogate and analyse our work, and hold us and our grant recipients to account, to ensure local residents and businesses benefit from this investment fund.

“We are particularly pleased to have found the right level of expertise on our doorstep, which is indicative of the depth and breadth of skills available in our region.”

Mark Ashfield, managing director, HB&O, said: “We are delighted to be working with the CWLEP on this project. The Local Growth Fund has the potential to support a wide range of opportunities to enhance this region. We are pleased to have the opportunity to play a direct role by monitoring and analysing the effective use of funds and advising the LEP on effective and efficient ways to manage these complex grants.”

HB&O has been appointed for three years following a competitive tender process which led to a change in auditor for the deal.

Cov Growth Fund

The Coton Arches in Nuneatonwhich have benefited from the Local Growth Fund (from left), Cllr Jeff Clarke (Warwickshire County Council), Nick Abell (CWLEP), Stephen Tomkins (Galliford Try) and Nuneaton MP Marcus Jones.