YORKSHIRE MPS have called for a halt to funding cuts faced by the agency charged with boosting the region’s economy.

The move came as members of the Yorkshire and Humber Select Committee praised the work of regional development agency Yorkshire Forward in boosting jobs and businesses.

The report said that Yorkshire Forward has incurred a 23.9% cut in total financial resources for 2010-11 – and recommended that the agency should not have its budget decreased further.

The committee also welcomed reports by the National Audit Office and accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers which “positively endorse” the work of Yorkshire Forward and its benefits to the regional economy.

Committee chairman Eric Illsley said: “Yorkshire Forward does important work in the region supporting business and in promoting economic development.

“We believe the Agency's budget should not be cut any further so that it can continue doing its vital work to help the region's economy.”

He said the agency was taking on new responsibilities relating to transport, housing and planning, but added: “It must take care that these do not detract from its primary focus to boost economic development in the region.”

The Committee said Yorkshire Forward should continually reassess its spending priorities in the face of the current economic climate and make changes accordingly in consultation with the Government Office and other regional partners.

But it added: “The Government, for its part, must ensure that regional development agencies have sufficient resources to carry out their remit.”