Cov and Warks spells out ambitious growth plans

Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) has outlined the key projects which will create over 50,000 new jobs, build 75,000 houses and invest in transport infrastructure in its bid for a share of government cash.

Sir Peter Rigby’s final act as chair of the CWLEP was to submit its Strategic Economic Plan to the government which outlines how the private and public sector will work together to turn their plans into reality.

All 39 LEPs across England are bidding for a share of government cash by outlining their economic plans with the CWLEP bid focusing on the future and bringing manufacturing home.

The SEP outlines the development of 50,099 new job opportunities by creating new businesses, encouraging innovation and developing new and existing employment sites with the Coventry and Warwickshire Gateway, Friargate, Lyons Park, Whitley Business Park and Bermuda Park outlined as the area’s top five priorities.

The CWLEP’s newly-formed Joint Committee and the area’s local authorities have agreed to build a minimum of 75,000 new homes by 2031.

There is also a pledge to invest in the road network, the north-south rail links, the A46 and the redevelopment of Coventry Railway Station and to continue developing the Clearing House which focuses on giving targeted support to businesses and increasing the number of start-up businesses.

Sir Peter said the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) has the full support of the public and private sector as well as the area’s MPs following extensive consultation.

“We are keen for the key projects detailed in the SEP to deliver economic growth, housing and improved transport infrastructure to put Coventry and Warwickshire at the heart of the current recovery and its future growth,” he said.

“The SEP enables us to negotiate with the government a Local Growth Deal. It is recognised that the investment requested is significant but the SEP identifies a prioritised set of proposals, projects and powers that have been agreed locally and will enable growth.

“We have identified specific investment in capital infrastructure that is central to local economic growth and productivity.

“Coventry and Warwickshire is very supportive of the government’s desire to exploit new opportunities in the global economy which are leading towards enticing supply chain companies in advanced manufacturing and engineering to come back to the UK and we will be further exploring ways this can be accelerated in conjunction with UKTI and the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

“We look forward to negotiating a strong growth deal with the government for the projects and schemes that we have outlined to get them underway in spring 2015.

“Locally the private sector, our local authorities and our two universities are keen to participate in a collaborative approach to turn this plan into reality and are confident it will be successful.

“Our goal remains to deliver our vision and grow the economy faster and further than would otherwise be the case, securing a high performing and sustainable economy for Coventry and Warwickshire.”

The government will announce the funding allocations in July after considering the proposals of all 39 LEPs.