Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today announced a government cash boost of £21.9 million for The Marches to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.
Some of the locally-chosen projects likely to benefit over the next few years include:
- A new university in Hereford specialising in technology and engineering;
- A new Enterprise and Science Park for the growing market and university town of Newport; and
- The Investing in Our Future Workforce project, which will provide new training facilities and technical equipment for a number of colleges in the Marches to improve skills for key local sectors.
These, alongside other projects, will improve skills, create jobs, build homes and improve infrastructure. This latest award of Local Growth funding is on top of £83 million of Growth Deal funding already awarded to The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership. This will see jobs created, homes built and extra investment.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“This Government is backing Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin with this new £21.9 million funding pot. Exciting projects to benefit include a new university in Hereford, and a new enterprise and science park in Newport.
“This new funding will help create jobs, boost skills and give businesses support.”
Graham Wynn OBE, Chairman of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, said the Growth Deal would make a real difference to the regional economy. He said:
“We want to create high quality jobs and the economic conditions for businesses to flourish – this funding will help us do exactly that. Investment in developing a highly skilled workforce will help our businesses to grow, inspire them to innovate and in turn, create even more jobs.
“Working with our local authority partners in Herefordshire, Shropshire, and Telford and Wrekin, we have a strong track record in delivering schemes which really make a difference to the lives of people who live and work here. We’re looking forward to meeting in the coming weeks to decide on funding and progress with these new projects.”
Creating an economy that works for everyone
An ambitious strategy to help the Midlands reach its full economic potential has been published today as the Chancellor Philip Hammond visited the region the day after delivering his first Budget.
The Midlands Engine Strategy includes significant investment in skills, connectivity and local growth, while it sets out how the government plans to drive the region’s huge potential and promote it to the world.
The £12 billion Local Growth Fund provides local leaders with the cash they need to support locally determined projects. Under the fund, England’s 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships – made up of council leaders and business representatives – bid for investments based on local priorities.
Bids are highly competitive and to be successful, Local Enterprise Partnerships need to work with partners to agree strong and accountable governance and put forward proposals that boost growth and bring in private sector funding.
Over £9 billion of the Local Growth Fund has now been awarded to Local Enterprise Partnerships through three rounds of Growth Deals, helping more than 1,000 projects get started across England already – this is supporting vital infrastructure, improving skills and creating thousands of jobs. Together with money for unlocking housing sites to support home building and investment in very large transport schemes – both announced in 2016 – we have fulfilled our commitment to a £12 billion Local Growth Fund.
In The Marches this has already:
- Facilitated work currently underway on The Telford Growth Point Package (£17 million) – a series of transport infrastructure improvements aimed at supporting the creation of jobs and bringing forward new houses across Telford and Wrekin Borough. The investment is expected to help deliver approximately 5,400 jobs and 2,800 houses;
- Seen the recent unveiling of detailed plans for a new £2.7 million state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing training hub. It will look to support nearly 2,000 learners between now and 2020 giving employers a strong pool of skills to tap into as they continue to compete globally; and
- Resulted in £7.7 million being secured to ensure that super-fast broadband is available across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to support local businesses, enabling 12,000 additional premises.
The Midlands Engine is the ambitious long-term economic plan to achieve greater economic growth and productivity across the whole Midlands. Our plans for the Midlands Engine demonstrate that when we say we’ll build an economy that works for everyone, we mean it.
The Government is supporting improvements in infrastructure, skills, business, environment and innovation in the Midlands. The Government is also increasing trade and investment by promoting the Midlands nationally and internationally.
Across the Midlands local people are set to benefit from £392 million investment with The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership receiving £21.9 million to spend on projects including:
- NMiTE – New Model in Technology and Engineering – a new university based in Hereford will provide a unique and highly innovative, real-world teaching approach where engineering businesses have a central role in curriculum development and teaching. It will support business innovation and commercialisation through opportunities for greater academic and commercial integration, supporting 230 companies in the first five years and 350 graduates per year;
- Newport Innovation and Enterprise Package involves development of a new Enterprise and Science Park which the LEP estimates will bring 950 high value jobs to the growing market and university town of Newport. It will facilitate provision of a high tech business start-up and incubation space, training and higher level skills development, and collaboration between local businesses and higher education. The package will also kickstart delivery of more than 1,000 essential new houses including starter homes in the Newport area – a key element of the Marches contribution to meeting government housing priorities.
- Strategic off-site highway improvements (including to the A41 and A518 transport corridors) and sustainable transport measures will be implemented to connect the Enterprise and Science Park with Newport town centre, and support new housing development.
- Investing in Our Future Workforce is a Marches-wide project which will provide capital investment in training facilities, technical equipment and enterprise incubators in a number of local colleges. The LEP estimates this will facilitate enhanced employment and progression opportunities for 3,700 learners, and improved pathways into entrepreneurship. This will strengthen vocational IT and technical skills pathways through traineeships, apprenticeships and work experience in higher level digital and technical skills for key local sectors (eg engineering, agri-tech, environmental, IT, healthcare and construction), meeting the needs of local employers.