Marches LEP bid for £68m
The Marches LEP has launched a bid for nearly £68m of Government funding to support projects which could create more than 7,000 jobs and 2,850 new homes in the region.
The 11 proposed projects across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin could also see nearly 50 hectares of employment land opened up and more than 250,000m of commercial floor space made available over the next 10 years.
Competing with 38 other local enterprise partnerships across England for a slice of £1.8 billion of Growth Deal funding, the Marches LEP has submitted an application for £67.9m of funding. This would be matched by more than £75m from the organisations and private sector partners delivering the projects.
The schemes include the development of the proposed New Model in Technology and Engineering (NMITE) university in Herefordshire, a £19.9m project, and an enterprise park in Ross-on-Wye which would create more than 460 jobs.
The LEP is also bidding for cash to develop an the Oswestry Innovation Park, a £13.2m scheme which will see 1,400 jobs created, as well as support for Enterprise Telford – a £19m advanced manufacturing and innovation development estimated to create 1,250 homes and 1,650 full time equivalent jobs.
Chairman of the Marches LEP, Graham Wynn OBE, said the LEP’s bid was supported by its public sector partners, Herefordshire Council, Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council as well as the three area Business Boards.
“We are asking for funding for 11 projects which include not only major infrastructure and shovel ready schemes, but also proposals to help develop our workforce, by making 1,000 undergraduate and 80 post graduate places available, and investment in IT and digital equipment and training facilities that will benefit over 3,700 young people and apprentices seeking to develop their skills.
“The total cost of these projects is more than £144 million and they will create sustainable private sector jobs, starter homes and access to higher education and training for the people who live and work in the Marches.
“Our bid also sets out our ambition for this enterprising region with a strategy to deliver economic growth through investment in innovation, higher levels skills, housing and business sites.
“We have a record for delivering large-scale projects successfully and our bid has the universal backing of our businesses, our partners and our MPs.”
Earlier rounds of Growth Deal funding saw the Marches LEP secured more than £75m for key transport schemes currently under way in Hereford, Shrewsbury and Telford and a further £7m to support the roll-out of superfast broadband.
Announcing the £1.8m Growth Deal earlier this year, Greg Clark MP, then Communities Secretary but now Secretary of State for Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills, said: “We’re completely changing the way business is done in this country, ending the top-down ‘Whitehall knows best’ mentality of the past and instead putting power back where it belongs – in the hands of local communities.
“With this offer of a Growth Deal to communities across the country, we’re backing the devolution revolution with billions of pounds and releasing vital investment in projects across the country to boost local skills, deliver new homes and create jobs.”
The proposal also includes a bid for £3m each towards the development of a business incubation centre on the site of the former Shell Store building on the Enterprise Zone and the creation of a Hereford Centre for Cyber Security at Skylon Park, Rotherwas. The LEP is also asking for £5m to support the development of land for homes, employment land and a new primary school in Leominster.
The proposal also asks for £7.5m to support the development of an innovation and enterprise scheme in Newport; £2m towards the development of the Flaxmill Maltings in Shrewsbury and £1m towards the delivery of new homes in Telford which will be matched with £9m of private sector investment.
A decision on funding allocations is expected to be made in the Autumn Budget statement.