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West Midlands LEP funding approaches £1 billion as Government approves Growth Deal top-ups

West Midlands LEP funding approaches £1 billion as Government approves Growth Deal top-ups

🕔29.Jan 2015

Six West Midlands Local Enterprise Partnerships have been promised a £91 million top-up to the Growth Deals announced last year, bringing to almost £1 billion the amount of investment for the region.

The new funding, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron, is in addition to the £774.8 million handed to the LEPs last summer.

Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP will receive an additional £21.4 million, on top of £357 million approved last year – bringing GBSLEP’s total Growth Deal to £378.8 million.

The new money will help redevelop the Birmingham wholesale markets site and pay for expansion of the Innovation Birmingham campus.

Other projects to be funded include:

  • Transport improvements to enhance access to major sites in North Solihull.
  • Supporting the provision of new college courses including improving employability and advanced life sciences.
  • Redevelopment of the station area in Kidderminster improving interchange and increasing the catchment area.

Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal, 2015-2021, GBSLEP estimates that up to 29,000 new jobs could be created, 7000 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £170 million of public and private investment.

Mr 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 in Birmingham and Solihull, 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.”

GBSLEP chair Andy Street said: “As we continue to build on our success with new initiatives, this additional funding will enable us to deliver on a wide range of projects.  These include the redevelopment of Kidderminster railway station, an additional investment for Birmingham’s Wholesale Markets project and £1.7m for improving public transport schemes in Solihull.

“In particular, the £3 million destined for the unblocking of small housing sites programme will accelerate the delivery of 120 new homes, which is one of our key commitments for Greater Birmingham.”

The Black Country LEP will receive an additional £24 million on top of the £138 million it was allocated last year.

Additional projects include:

  • The creation of a Light Rail Innovation Centre in Dudley which will specialise in prototype vehicle design and construction, as well as providing education, and research and development facilities to local businesses
  • Development of Wolverhampton City College to support at least 3000 learners and 50 businesses
  • Bringing forward regeneration of Walsall Waterfront creating up to 160 jobs.

Stewart Towe, chairman of the Black Country LEP, said: “The expansion of the Black Country Growth Deal is welcome news as it reinforces the momentum behind the renaissance of the Black Country. The additional investment will increase capital grants and support for business, equip the next generation with the skills they need to provide new housing and create a Light Rail Innovation Centre to develop the technology.”

Across the rest of the West Midlands the Marches LEP has been given £7.7 million, topping up its overall total to £83 million, while Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire gets an extra £15.4 million to bring its total to £97.7 million.

Coventry & Warwickshire gets an additional £15.3 million, bringing its total up to £89.4 million, while Worcestershire receives an additional £7.2 million to make its overall settlement £54.2 million.

Welcoming the announcement, Stewart Towe, chairman of the Black Country LEP, said: “The expansion of the Black Country Growth Deal is welcome news as it reinforces the momentum behind the renaissance of the Black Country. The additional investment will increase capital grants and support for business, equip the next generation with the skills they need to provide new housing and create a Light Rail Innovation Centre to develop the technology.”

 

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