GBSLEP secures £15 million of funding to unlock economic potential of development sites
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) is to receive more than £15 million to support infrastructure developments which create new homes, jobs and growth.
Approval has been given for the GBSLEP to get just over £15.2 million from the Growing Places Fund, which is designed to boost economic growth by getting the required infrastructure built to enable the creation of new jobs and get stalled projects moving again.
While a final decision on which projects will receive funding has yet to be taken, the GBSLEP has been in negotiations with local authorities and developers with a view to beginning work on the ground by the spring and a deadline of February 24th 2012 has been set for further applications to the first round to be received.
Examples of eligible projects include supporting infrastructure costs in order to service development sites and roads and access improvements to unlock developments and enable the delivery of new jobs, commercial space and homes.
It will make available ‘revolving funds’ with money paid back by applicants and then re-invested into further schemes across the LEP geography.
The LEP was set up to drive economic growth, achieve global leadership in key sectors and help create 100,000 jobs by 2020 across Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Redditch, Solihull, Tamworth and Wyre Forest.
Paul Heaven, GBSLEP Board Director, led the work to secure the funding.
He said: “This is not about the GBSLEP undertaking development, rather it is about us working together in partnership with local authorities and developers to unlock the economic potential of key development sites.
“The key aspect of this work is having projects ready that can deliver quickly and deliver significant returns in terms of return on investment and the scale of growth.
“While we still have to complete the due diligence to determine which of the projects will receive the funding, we are confident not only will the successful schemes make a huge impact, crucially they will be able to start almost immediately.
“Now we have approval from the Treasury and will receive the funds we can begin the process of finalising which projects are going to go forward in round one of the Growing Places funding allocation.
￼”We are well positioned having worked with local authorities involved in the LEP as well as our neighbouring LEPs to identify ‘shovel ready’ projects set to start on site by the early summer, meaning by the end of the year we will be able to see real progress and a pipeline of new exciting developments coming forward.”