Andy Street
Russ Cockburn

Member Article

LEP welcomes £1.5bn City Deal for Birmingham

Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) today welcomed the Government’s City Deal for Birmingham that has the potential to create nearly 11,000 new jobs.

The announcement, which was made by Communities Minister Andrew Stunell, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Cities Minister Greg Clark, will give the City new powers to build infrastructure, create jobs and train local people with the right skills to fill them.

It represents a major shift in the powers and levers available to local leaders and businesses so they are able to shape their economic futures, boost local growth and get the national economy going.

GBSLEP has been instrumental in the negotiations with Cities Minister Greg Clark to secure the unique deal which will focus on investment in life sciences, expansion of the Green Deal programme and the launch of a Skills for Growth Compact that will look to commit employers, colleges and schools to investing in skills and guaranteeing work opportunities for learners.

This approach will result in a quarter of the City’s businesses taking part and the creation of 3,560 apprenticeships.

The City Deal will also create GBS Finance, an investment fund of £1.5bn that will manage, invest, recycle and leverage a number of public and private sector funding streams to deliver local infrastructure projects whilst becoming a model for sustainable funding and growth.

It is anticipated that, as a result of the new financial powers, in excess of £15bn of private sector investment over 25 years could be secured.

Andy Street, Chair of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“From the moment we were invited by Government to put together our vision for the City Deal, we looked at our assets and the key economic challenges before setting about outlining the proposals that will bring about sustained economic growth.

“Not only will the City Deal support immediate job creation but it will also improve our skills base and invest in our infrastructure to meet the economic needs of the future.

“This is the first step towards a new way of working with Government, providing the foundations upon which to build through further negotiations.

“We welcome the Government’s commitment to the City Deal and the opportunity it gives us to fulfil our potential.”

Communities Minister Andrew Stunell officially announced details of the City Deal during a visit to Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust today.

He said: “Giving back power from Whitehall has been a cornerstone of this Government. This step-change in local government funding will result in more dynamic, forward-looking cities and I’m delighted to see the innovative and exciting housing projects Birmingham is already investing in.

“This deal will give the city the powers and tools it needs to drive growth and boost its economy. With the creation of a city-specific investment fund, this government is putting in place the conditions to allow enterprise to flourish and grow our economy.”

The City Deal is focused on delivering a diversity of economic benefits for the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area. These include:

  • 10,800 additional jobs, building on the 40,000 created by the Enterprise Zone in Birmingham City Centre

  • Leverage in over £15bn of private sector investment over 25 years from £1.5bn of public funding

  • A single settlement to cover all economic development funding

  • An Institute of Translational Medicine to respond to national unmet need, unlock growth potential in the NHS and create a resource for SMEs and international pharmaceutical companies

  • A world-class skills system which meets the needs of employers and fulfils expectation of employees

  • 3560 apprenticeship grants to be delivered by March 2013

  • In excess of 2800 additional new homes through the use of public assets

  • At least 100% capital return on current market value of public assets

  • 15,000 homes refurbished, delivering savings in domestic energy usage of 108Gwh and 26 ktonnes pa of CO2

  • 40 public buildings refurbished delivering savings in energy usage of 46Gwh and 10ktonnes pa Of CO2

  • Retrofitting to the properties of 1500 people on pension or disability premium and 2,250 people in fuel poverty.

Leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore went on to add his support:

“City Deal comes at a time when Birmingham and the wider area is enjoying renewed confidence and has, for the first time, all of the building blocks for success in place.

“We have a strong private and public sector partnership, a strategy for growth and, now, a deal with Government that will give us the powers to rebalance the economy.

“For this to be a truly successful and globally competitive city region we need to maximise our full potential in areas such as Life Sciences, where we already have a leading position internationally.

“There is much more to be done, but the City Deal is testament to the strength of the relationship between the public and private sectors and the local authorities involved.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This groundbreaking deal signals a dramatic power shift, freeing Birmingham from Whitehall control. Everyone will feel the benefits – from young people looking for jobs, to businesses looking to expand.

“Over the coming months, we are transferring more and more power from Whitehall to your city.

“Birmingham is an economic powerhouse – so it makes sense that the city decides for itself how to boost the local economy.”

Cities Minister Greg Clark concluded: “This deal will make a huge difference to Birmingham’s potential to grow its local economy, and become even more of a beacon for investment.

“There has been huge support from the private sector for this deal and Birmingham will now reap the benefits of new financial freedoms and investment opportunities available to them.”

For further information, please visit www.gbslep.com or follow us on twitter @gbslep

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Russ Cockburn .

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