The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £7.7m invested in the Marches area, covering Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire between 2016 and 2021.
Through this deal the Government is also committing assistance to the Marches LEP to identify other funding sources to support the delivery of this deal including the Public Works Loan Board.
This is in addition to the £75.3m of funding committed by the Government on 7 July 2014. Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015-2021) the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 7000 new jobs could be created, 3000 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £50m public and private investment.
The focus of the expanded deal is:
- To support local businesses by ensuring that super-fast broadband is available across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
- To support the development of the higher education centre at Shrewsbury, and to increase opportunity for business access to the excellence in agri-tech at Harper Adams University to help drive innovation and business growth.
The Government is also committing through this deal assistance to the Marches LEP to identify other funding sources to support the delivery of this deal including the Public Works Loan Board.
The Marches Growth Deal is part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the national economy – building on the strength of the Marches.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all.
“And this is happening right here in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin , with more money announced today for key projects to boost the local economy as part of the multi-million pound expansion of the Government’s Growth Deals.
“And because the money will be in the control of a partnership of local community, business and civic leaders it means it will go on the things that really matter to people and businesses here.”
“That is what Growth Deals are all about, backing local people and investing in the infrastructure, housing and skills that will drive forward local economies, create more jobs and opportunities for hardworking people and supercharge all parts of our country.”
Marches LEP Chair Graham Wynn said: “Our £75.3m Growth Deal, officially signed this month, focused on significant transport projects which will help us tackle barriers to economic growth in the Marches.
“But digital, as well as physical, connectivity is vital if the region is to achieve its potential and so we welcome this additional funding to help us move forward with our plans for further high speed broadband across the region. Tens of thousands of businesses will benefit, and those growing businesses will create hundreds of jobs.
“As well as broadband, we identified Higher Education projects in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin as priorities. The University Centre in Shrewsbury and the innovation and agri-tech centre in Newport, linked to Harper Adams University, provide significant economic growth potential for our key business sectors.
“We welcome the opportunity to a continuing dialogue with Government with the aim of securing further support for our identified projects.”