Government and Sheffield City Region sign £325 million Growth Deal

Published 23rd October 2014 at 10:54am

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, will today join up with council and business leaders from across Sheffield City Region to sign a £325 million Growth Deal.

In July, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) secured the landmark £325 million Growth Deal for Sheffield City Region, which will create over 28,000 jobs and training for 40,000 people.

The official signing ceremony will take place at the Electric Works in Sheffield City Centre. Electric Works is a state-of-the-art office space and home to a growing community of creative, digital and media businesses in Sheffield City Region.

The Deputy Prime Minister will meet with leaders from the Sheffield City Region including LEP Chairman James Newman and Combined Authority Deputy Chairman Councillor Eion Watts.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who chairs the Local Growth Cabinet Committee said:

“We are ending a culture of Whitehall knows best. Decisions over spending on infrastructure, business support and housing are being made at a truly local level.

“Instead, we are placing the power and money in the hands of the people who know how to spend it best, making a real difference to Sheffield City Region.

“This Growth Deal will create thousands of jobs, provide incredible new training opportunities for young people, build thousands of new homes and improve transport links for everyone – building a stronger economy and a fairer society.”

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

“Signing our deal with the Deputy Prime Minister marks an important milestone in the process of taking control of our local economy. This deal will unlock millions of pounds of investment to grow the Sheffield City Region economy and create jobs.

“The Sheffield City Region LEP achieved the fifth biggest deal with Government of all areas in England. We achieved this because our leaders worked closely together to put forward a very compelling offer.

“However, this is only the first small step on a journey to take control of our City Region’s economic destiny.”

Councillor Eion Watts, Deputy Chair of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, said:

“This Growth Deal is a significant step in the right direction and we will continue to work with Government to address the imbalances in the national economy.

“The Sheffield City Region has proved that it has the strong governance and processes in place to use government funding effectively to create jobs for local people.

“We are continuing to work with Government to get the best deal for our City Region and we recently submitted a further funding bid which asks for £38 million to further boost jobs and growth in the City Region.”

The Growth Deal has been achieved as a result of the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) to Government which set out plans to transform the local economy over the next decade. At the heart of the plan is the creation of 70,000 new private sector jobs and 6,000 new businesses over the next ten years.

The funding secured by the Growth Deal will facilitate over £600 million of infrastructure schemes, including improvements to Sheffield City Centre, transport links to new housing and employment sites the Dearne Valley and a link road to Doncaster-Sheffield Airport.

It will enable the LEP 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 upgrade further education facilities and build a brand new British Glass Academy (pictured above).

The Growth Deal will also mean that the LEP can extend its business investment programme which will create 4,000 new jobs for local people.

Earlier this month, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) wrote to Government to officially ask for an additional £38 million to further boost economic growth and create jobs in the area.

This additional £38 million would enable the LEP to progress a range of initiatives more quickly and effectively, as well as adding some additional projects to its arsenal of activity aimed at boosting economic growth and creating jobs in the City Region. The additional funding would enable the LEP to:

  • Extend and accelerate the hugely successful RGF Programme Fund to support more local businesses with robust plans for growth in 2015
  • Start building work on a Rail Engineering Academy in Doncaster
  • Support over 2,000 businesses in the Sheffield City Region to start exporting to overseas markets
  • Deliver 14 sustainable transport schemes which include regenerating local areas, creating new cycle and walking links, and improving bus routes
  • Accelerate work to create an online support service for local business to enable them to get the advice and funding they need to grow
  • Build five new business units on the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone which will help to meet the growing demands from investors for premises to move into quickly and easily.