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GBSLEP appoints director to deliver £357m Growth Fund projects

GBSLEP appoints director to deliver £357m Growth Fund projects

🕔01.Dec 2014

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership has appointed a new executive with a remit to deliver on the region’s £357 million Local Growth Fund deal.

The job of programme delivery director has gone to Michael Carr, former head of the East Midlands Development Agency and currently director of business engagement and innovation services at Nottingham University.

Mr Carr will be responsible for ensuring that GBSLEP delivers the promised outcomes from the £357 million growth fund allocation by the Government, which was approved in July.

The growth deal is forecast to create 19,000 jobs through 34 regeneration projects.

In addition to the jobs, the projects will deliver 6,000 homes and help 7,600 people to improve their skills.

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 from the Local Growth Fund and the Government will invest a further £91.8m.

Projects outlined in the 20-year Birmingham Connected transport strategy – 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 HS2 Birmingham Curzon station and support extended provision of construction skills.

Mr Carr, who will take up his role in February, will have oversight of several key Birmingham regeneration projects including extensions to the Midland Metro, construction of an advanced manufacturing hub near Junction 6 of the M6 and development of a life sciences campus at Selly Oak.

He said: “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to join the GBSLEP at this exciting time. It is vitally important that the LEP and its partners deliver on the trust that has been placed in them from central Government and work to make significant improvements to the prosperity of the area and the wider city region. In doing so, the GBSLEP and its partners will be in the position to contribute fully to the debate regarding opportunities for change in the way our cities and regions are governed.”

He will join Katie Trout, GBSLEP Executive Manager, in the first of a number of new delivery-based appointments as part of plans to strengthen the GBSLEP team.

Andy Street, GBSLEP chairman, said:  “Michael’s appointment shows the ambition the LEP has for our city region. His pedigree is first class and this will be of huge advantage as we prove to Government that we can deliver the Growth Deal negotiated in the summer.

“He will also be key in demonstrating that we deserve further powers to be devolved from Whitehall. I am pleased that we have waited until now to make such a senior appointment, such that we have been able to secure an experienced professional who has shown his ability previously to win support from both the public and private sectors and deliver economic success.”

Cllr Bob Sleigh, leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and GBSLEP board director, added:  “Michael brings vast experience with him and I am sure he will prove to be invaluable for this key role within the GBSLEP.   I know that the local authority leaders are all looking forward to working with him as we continue to build the economic strength of Greater Birmingham and Solihull.”

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