GBSLEP announces £12 million Growing Places funding for first projects
The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Board today approved £12.075 million for the first eight projects to be ‘unlocked’ through the Growing Places Fund.
Featuring locations in Aston, Cannock Chase, Edgbaston, Erdington, Kidderminster, Solihull and Uttoxeter, the successful bids will help bring stalled infrastructure projects back to life, creating nearly 7,200 jobs when all phases are completed.
More than £85 million of private sector investment will be leveraged as a result of this commitment, which will also create 1000s of new homes, hotels, high quality office space and a potential new business park.
The approved projects, subject to conditions and due diligence, include:
- East Aston Regional Investment Site
- Dove Way (Uttoxeter)
- Gallan Park (Cannock)
- Hoobrook Link Road (Kidderminster)
- Icknield Port Loop (Edgbaston)
- Lyndhurst Estate (Erdington)
- Mill Green (Cannock)
- Smith’s Wood (Solihull)
Paul Heaven, GBSLEP Board Director, said: “From receiving the green light on the Growing Places Fund only a few months ago, we have been able to approve eight projects that are going to deliver major benefits to people living in the LEP area.
“There are some high-profile locations in the first tranche, including the British Sugar site, a key employment site on East Aston RIS, a village centre redevelopment in Solihull and a major employment land opportunity in Cannock.”
He continued: “This is not about us undertaking development. It is more about working in partnership with local authorities and developers to unlock the untapped economic potential of key sites that had previously stalled due to market changes and the downturn.
“It will kick-start, invest and recycle capital funds for all partners from across the LEP geography.”
Partners were invited to go through a two-stage process culminating in applicants submitting a detailed business case.
All projects went through a robust appraisal, including bids being presented to the LEP Investment Panel prior to securing Board Approval.
The eight successful projects account for £12.075 million of the initial £15.2 million funding, with the remaining allocation added to the recent £5.5 million injection promised by the Government in the Budget.
This means more than £8 million will be available for interested parties to apply for when the second round of applications are opened in August/September of this year.
Paul went on to add: “The additional Growing Places funding will give us the opportunity to take the shackles off even more projects and help deliver crucial infrastructure improvements, such as building access roads, demolition of derelict buildings, installing essential services and the remediation of land.
“It’s a perfect example of how the LEP can be an ‘enabler’ in driving economic growth.”