The Marches LEP has delivered 9,850 houses, created 8,000 jobs and secured £670m of private investment for the region in the last five years.
The “track record” was highlighted at a meeting in Westminster as Marches MPs were briefed on the LEP’s bid for nearly £68m of Government Growth Deal funding for 11 projects, which would create a further 2,850 homes and 7,200 jobs.
LEP Chairman Graham Wynn OBE said: “As well as delivering thousands of homes and jobs, we have also invested £800m in infrastructure, economic development and transportation working with our local authority partners.
“I’d like to thank board members who attended, including the Leaders of Herefordshire Council, Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council, who also took the opportunity to lobby MPs about issues in their areas.”
Projects which could be supported if the bid is successful include 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.
Also in the project list is the development of an Oswestry Innovation Park, a £13.2m scheme which will see 1,400 jobs created, and Enterprise Telford – a £19m advanced manufacturing and innovation development estimated to create 1,250 homes and 1,650 full time equivalent jobs.
MPs at the meeting included Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman, the newly appointed Minister for Industry and Energy, along with North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin, Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski, North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson, Ludlow MP Philip Dunne and Telford MP Lucy Allan.
Mr Norman said: “It was very helpful to meet with the LEP and hear about progress to date. As MPs for the region, we are backing this funding bid which could not only deliver thousands of new homes and jobs for the whole region, but also help tackle the skills gap.
“The Marches LEP is a great example of the private and public sectors working in partnership to grow the economy of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.”
LEP Director Gill Hamer added: “It was an extremely positive meeting with MPs. It gave us a chance to show how our work focuses on the ways we can build a diverse and strong economy which supports businesses; a skilled population; infrastructure which is for growth and strong communities which are sustainable.”