The award of Growth Deal 3 funding was announced in March 2017 providing a boost of £21.9 million for the Marches to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth through the following projects.
In August 2019 the Marches LEP signed a £2.34m deal to fund Phase 1 of the NMITE project – the transformation of a former school into facilities for Hereford’s New Model Institute in Technology and Engineering. At the 24 March 2020 LEP Board meeting an additional 400k was allocated to the NMITE – Phase 1 project.
The funding will be used to refurbish and equip buildings at the former Robert Owen Academy in Blackfriars Street for students learning practical engineering skills.
NMITE is aiming to address the shortage of skilled graduate engineers in the Marches and British businesses across the advanced manufacturing, agri-engineering, data, defence, resources security, and sustainable/smart living technology sectors. The funding will result in 250 Undergraduates, 37 new jobs created, 75 companies supported as well as drawing down over £3.1m of Private Sector Funding.
Work on the development of Phase 2 is currently ongoing.
Ni Park is the development of a new Enterprise and Science Park which will bring 950 high value jobs to the growing market and university town of Newport. Awarded £7.4m of Growth Deal funding, 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 kick start 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
A Marches-wide project which has provided capital investment in training facilities, technical equipment and enterprise incubators in a number of local colleges through £2.75m of Growth Deal funding. This is facilitating enhanced employment and progression opportunities for 3,700 learners and improving progression into self-employment. The investment is strengthening vocational digital and technical skills through traineeships, apprenticeships and work experience in key sectors (e.g. engineering, agri-tech, environmental technologies, IT, healthcare and construction) to meet the needs of local employers.
Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security is a £3 million LEP project which will support the development of a new Centre for Cyber Security in Rotherwas, Hereford, creating 185 jobs.
The centre will be located at Hereford Enterprise Zone’s Skylon Park and will support three main areas:
- Accommodation for businesses working in the cyber security sector with potential space for up to 20 tenant businesses
- Secure training and educational facilities to provide specialist cyber security training for businesses and organisations
- A base for undertaking research in the field of cyber security
The centre will also have specially equipped laboratories which will enable users to simulate cyber-attacks and test responses in a secure environment.
Redevelopment of the Flaxmill
The LEP has awarded £2m of funding towards the ongoing redevelopment of the Flaxmill, in Shrewsbury. Two hectares of brownfield land around the historic mill complex will be transformed to allow the development of 120 homes by private developers.