GBSLEP sign £357m Growth Deal with Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today joined private and public sector directors from the GBSLEP board to sign the £357m Greater Birmingham and Solihull Growth Deal.
Agreed in July 2014, the deal secures £357m of government funding, as well as a further £80m of investment from local partners and the private sector. Combined together this will create a total new investment package of £437m for the GBSLEP.
The Growth Deal has been designed to create up to 19,000 new jobs, the building of 6,000 new homes and help 7,600 people to improve their skills, which in turn will lead to increased employment opportunities for the area. In addition, it will help open a wider package of investment to improve transport networks, unlock stalled economic sites and boost overall skills provision across the wider LEP area.
With the first tranche of projects with a total value of £63.4m due to commence in April 2015, the GBSLEP is set to build upon the current economic renaissance being enjoyed by the region.
One of the key elements of the Growth Deal is the establishment of a new way of working between the GBSLEP and central government to ensure the area is well positioned to exploit the potential of HS2, while maximising the benefits in terms of investment, jobs and skills.
The official signing ceremony took place at Hydraforce today in Birmingham.
Steve Hollis, deputy chair of the GBSLEP, said: “This is a very exciting way to start 2015 with the official signing of our Growth Deal. As well as maximising the opportunities being presented by HS2, this funding will bring much needed improvements not only to projects in the city of Birmingham, but also to those in the wider LEP area including Kidderminster, East Staffordshire and Cannock, to name but a few.
“Of particular importance for the region is our target for private sector job creation of 119,000 by 2020 and this year much of our activity will build on the platform that is driving our regions impressive performance in tackling unemployment.
“In addition, with the regional empowerment debate continuing to dominate the agenda, the Growth Deal highlights how devolving funding from Whitehall to the LEPs can and will deliver growth for regions across the UK. This in turn will provide central government with the confidence to devolve further during the next parliament and over the next few years.”
Cllr Bob Sleigh, leader of Solihull MBC, said:
“This is great news for the whole region and in particular the benefits and opportunities it will bring to Solihull through the investment and connectivity both in HS2 and the wider industrial and skills sector.
“Solihull leads on the skills agenda for the GBSLEP so it’s pleasing to see the investments being made in skills and employment and the increased opportunities it will create for local people.”
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
“This is great news for Birmingham and a clear vote of confidence in our regeneration agenda. 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 and help us maximise the impact of the plans we have in place for the city centre HS2 terminus.
“What with major infrastructure projects like New Street Station and the Metro extension also set to complete this year it is clear that the city is developing for itself an exciting future as a leading place to do business and in which to invest.”
GBSLEP Growth Deal signing
L – R – Cllr Bob Sleigh – leader of Solihull Council, Sir Albert Bore – leader of Birmingham City Council, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Steve Hollis – deputy chairman of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership