£75m Growth Deal signed by Marches LEP
Minister joins LEP leaders to sign £75m investment package for the Marches Leaders from the public and private sectors across the Marches today met with Greg Clark MP, Minister for Universities,…
Minister joins LEP leaders to sign £75m investment package for the Marches
Leaders from the public and private sectors across the Marches today met with Greg Clark MP, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, at Harper Adams University in Newport, Shropshire for the signing of a £75m Marches Growth Deal.
The money, which brings together different funding streams, will be invested into the Marches to create thousands of homes and jobs over the coming five years and will generate up to £20m in private sector investment.
Key projects in Telford and Hereford aimed at supporting the delivery of up to 6,000 jobs and 3,000 new homes are amongst the first to be supported by the deal – the £17.4m Telford Growth Package and £33.5m Hereford City Centre Transport Package both have guaranteed funding for 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The Telford project will see improvements to key junctions, utilities and infrastructure delivering three employment and housing extension sites. The Hereford scheme, meanwhile, includes a new link road, integrated with the city centre, delivering retail, leisure, tourism, employment, housing, and other development.
Universities, Science and Cities Minister, Greg Clark, said: “I am delighted to be signing the Marches Growth Deal today, handing powers from Whitehall back to the people who know this area best.
“This deal invests £75 million into the local economy to improve road connections, invest in skills and training, and to establish a dedicated investment fund for the area. Jobs and new businesses are being created at an accelerating rate across the area. This deal will help build on that success to help ensure that the Marches continues to be an economic success story in the years ahead.”
Chairman of the Marches LEP Graham Wynn, added: “This investment package will allow great progress to be made on key infrastructure projects, some of which are already underway, across our three urban centres, creating thousands of jobs and homes for the people of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
“We’re delighted to welcome the Minister for Universities, Science and Skills, Greg Clark MP, here today – a day that signals a major milestone for the Marches LEP – and the public and private sector partners all look forward to the next phase working in partnership with the Government to fulfil the commitments in this Growth Deal.
“It is fitting that today’s signing has taken place at Harper Adams University as this is an important research and innovation asset for the Marches LEP. Having the Minister here allows us to demonstrate the wealth of talent in our Higher Education institutions which is an area that we’d very much like to build on in the future.”
Following the signing of the Growth Deal, Greg Clark joined Dr David Llewellyn, Vice-Chancellor of Harper Adams University, on a tour of the university’s £3 million Agricultural Engineering Innovation Centre, to learn about precision agriculture research being conducted by Harper Adams staff and students, including the development of drones, laser weeding, controlled traffic farming and electric vehicles. Following the AEIC tour, the minister visited the university farm and new entomology laboratories, before an informal discussion with students.