The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £15.3m invested in Coventry and Warwickshire between 2016 and 2021. This is in addition to the £74.1m of funding committed by the Government on 7 July 2014. Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015-2021) the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 4000 new jobs could be created, 1400 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £220m public and private investment.
The additional proposed projects include:
· The development of a new technology to bring motorway and local road traffic systems together with cloud based systems, to improve local journey times on important routes, by giving drivers live information enabling them to switch routes and modes.
· Investment programme to bring forward key employment sites for development (e.g. Friargate and further employment land around J12 M40), enabling business growth and creating new job opportunities.
· A fund that will support local businesses to make major capital investments, develop buildings and infrastructure or access new technologies that will facilitate business growth and job creation.
· Capacity improvements at the Coton Arches roundabout in Nuneaton, which will facilitate housing and employment growth (including at the flagship Bermuda Park employment site) and improve access to Nuneaton town centre.
· New facilities at FE Colleges to deliver skills as demanded by local employers.
· A new centre to deliver R&D activities developing new steel products that will service key sectors such as Automotive, Aerospace, Rail, Defence and Energy.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Deal is part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the national economy – building on the strength of the Coventry and Warwickshire area.
The Prime Minister said:
“Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all.
“And this is happening in Coventry and Warwickshire, with more money announced today for key projects to boost the local economy as part of the multi-million pound expansion of the Government’s Growth Deals.
“And because the money will be in the control of a partnership of local community, business and civic leaders it means it will go on the things that really matter to people and businesses here.
“That is what Growth Deals are all about, backing local people and investing in the infrastructure, housing and skills that will drive forward local economies, create more jobs and opportunities for hardworking people and supercharge all parts of our country.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said:
“A quiet revolution is underway in Coventry and Warwickshire and across the country, as Growth Deals signal the death of the culture where Whitehall calls the shots. I’ve seen for myself the difference it makes to give this region more power over skills, over business support, over infrastructure spending.
“I am delighted to announce the expansion of the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Deal today.
“The Coalition Government has been relentless in our efforts to sort out the public finances and set firm foundations for growth. Growth Deals help create a stronger economy and a fairer society by boosting local economies, and providing more jobs, better transport and affordable homes.”
Jonathan Browning, Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This additional investment from the Growth Deal demonstrates the importance of the improved partnership working across the CWLEP and will help to build on our priority areas of improving skills, the transport infrastructure and research and design activities.
“We are focused on providing the right conditions for businesses to grow to ensure we continue to create jobs, support innovation and boost economic growth across the area.”
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Joint Committee, Leader of Warwickshire County Council and Board Member of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership said: “This further investment in Coventry and Warwickshire will help make the region a more attractive place for both businesses and for workers.
“This additional funding shows Government’s confidence in the region. It will enable investment in research and development, transport infrastructure and in the skills of our current and future workforce. It is great news and means the area can continue to move ahead with optimism.”