£320 million for Economic Growth

Published 7th July 2014 at 8:38am

Local leaders from the public and private sector have secured a £320 million cash boost for Sheffield City Region, which will create over 28,000 jobs and training for 40,000 people.

This is the fifth most substantial Growth Deal that any City Region has made with Government as Ministers make their announcements for the 39 LEP areas across England.

3-Clegg-Ian-Lane

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (pictured  above with Ian Lane) was in Sheffield City Region on Friday (4 July) to confirm the final investment during a visit to a local business, which is already benefiting from investment from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The cash boost for Sheffield City Region will go towards supporting over £600 million worth of infrastructure projects, including improvements to Sheffield City Centre, transport links to new housing and employment sites in Dearne Valley and an extended airport link road to Doncaster-Sheffield Airport.  The overall package will be a huge boost for the Sheffield City Region LEP, allowing its recently developed seven year economic strategy to become a reality.

The new funding will also enable the City Region’s leaders to create a £130 million Skills Bank, which will provide training for 40,000 people in the Sheffield City Region, including between 5,000 and 7,500 apprentices. The funding will also be used to build new facilities at existing Colleges, including a brand new British Glass Academy.

£50 million of the funding will mean that the LEP can extend its highly successful business investment and support programme and create 4,000 new jobs for local people.

James Newman, Chairman of Sheffield City Region LEP, said:

“Sheffield City Region is getting a bigger share of the new funds than we might have expected and is clearly punching its weight when it comes to newly devolved powers and funds from Government. We have secured the fifth largest amount of any LEP area and we are one of a very small handful of LEPs being given significant freedoms by Government as to how we spend our funding.The strength of the Sheffield City Region LEP partnership, our track record and our clear and focussed plan for growth has led to us being awarded most of what we asked for, which fully justifies all the hard work and collaboration between the private and public sectors in developing the plan. Our Growth Deal is the first step on a journey to enable the Sheffield City Region to take control of its own economic destiny. This is a strong start and, although we have not got everything we wanted, we have done well and we look forward to working with Government to increase their trust in our LEP so we will be able to take even more of our own funding and strategic economic decisions in the future.”

Sir Councillor Houghton CBE, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, said:

“The Sheffield City Region’s Growth Deal will enable local leaders from the private and public sector to deliver a number of the key programmes set out in our Strategic Economic Plan. Our strong plan has resulted in funding with fewer strings attached than most LEPs and will enable us to develop major skills, transport and infrastructure programmes. It will also enable us to extend our existing highly successful RGF and business support programmes to benefit even more businesses in our City Region. This Growth Deal is a step in the right direction and we will continue to work with Government to rebalance the national economy to City Regions like ourselves with strong governance and partnership working.”