Growth Deal heralds new era for Greater Birmingham & Solihull economy
The Government has today (Monday) announced that the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership is to receive £357.3m from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) to help provide up to 19,000 jobs as part of its Growth Deal.
In total, 34 projects have been approved with £63.4m available for the financial year 2015-16 to get schemes started quickly.
In addition to the jobs, the projects will deliver 6,000 homes and help 7,600 people to improve their skills.
The Local Growth Fund investment will help open a wider package of investment to improve transport networks, unlock economic sites and boost skills provision across the LEP area.
One of the key elements of the Growth Deal is a new way of working between the LEP and Central Government to ensure that the area is able to exploit the benefits of HS2 and maximise the benefits in terms of investment, jobs and skills.
GBSLEP will invest nearly £60m in projects related to HS2 and, from the Local Growth Fund, Government will invest a further £91.8m.
These projects – including station improvements between New Street and Moor Street, extensions to the Midland Metro and a bus rapid transit scheme extending from the centre to the west of the city – will significantly enhance connectivity to the new Birmingham Curzon station and support extended provision of construction skills.
Projects receiving funding from the LGF through the Growth Deal include:
- More than £100m of Local Growth Fund provisionally allocated to create three extensions to the Midland Metro
- Funding to facilitate the start of a Life Sciences Campus in Selly Oak (£5 from LGF) and the development of an Academy for the sector at Bourneville College (£3.5m LGF)
- Delivery of a 20 hectare Advanced Manufacturing Hub near the M6 Junction 6 (£2m)
- The creation of a Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technologies at Birmingham Metropolitan College (£11.2m) and an Aviation Engineering Training Centre in Solihull (£830,000)
- A growth and regeneration programme to unlock key economic sites in East Staffordshire (£1.5m)
- The development of a road/rail freight interchange facility in Cannock (£3m)
- Phase two of the Hoobrook Link Road to improve access to South Kidderminster Enterprise Park (£3m)
- Establishment of the GBS Growth Hub to support up to 15,000 businesses through a world-class business support system (£625,000)
The investment made by Government will unlock an additional £138.5m of investment from local partners and £111.5m in contributions from the private sector.
Andy Street, GBSLEP Chair, said: “This Growth Deal is a clear vote of confidence in the economic renaissance of Greater Birmingham and a sign that Government has faith in our ability to deliver.
“We have been able to secure funding for much needed projects, a carefully chosen mix of shovel-ready schemes we can kick on with almost immediately and support for longer-term projects.
“Perhaps more importantly we have won support for our long-term vision to secure the position of our city region as the pre-eminent economy outside London.
“The outcome is a tribute to the teamwork which has gone into these proposals. Now we have to deliver. Our focus is now on delivering.”
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This is great news for Birmingham.
“The announcements in this Growth Deal will help kick-start a range of major projects that will support the delivery of an improved transport system for the city, particularly with some further Metro extensions, and the creation of new jobs for local people.
“Securing the funding will enable the city to lever in significant additional resources to drive our local growth agenda and boost development activity.”
Cllr Bob Sleigh, Leader of Solihull MBC, said: “The Growth Deal is great news for the whole City Region and from Solihull’s perspective two key areas are particularly pleasing.
“First, the projects that support the skills agenda, an area Solihull leads on for the GBSLEP, will help to close the skills gap that has served as a barrier to sustained economic development.
“Second, the investments in connectivity linked to HS2 will be critical.
“Solihull has become a shining light for inward investment over the last few years, the investment in skills and connectivity can only help enhance our offer.”
To find out more about the Growth Deal click here.