Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today announced a government cash boost of £17.5 million for Worcestershire to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.
Some of the locally-chosen projects likely to benefit over the next few years include:
- Improvements to the A38 to speed up journey times and accelerate the delivery of housing and jobs growth;
- A new engineering facility for Heart of Worcestershire College to meet the needs of local employers; and
- Improvements to the Pershore Northern Link Road and Churchfields Urban Village Highway to relieve congestion and provide access to new homes.
These, alongside other projects, will improve skills, create jobs, build homes and improve infrastructure. This latest award of Local Growth funding is on top of £54.2 million of Growth Deal funding already awarded to Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership. This will see jobs created, homes built and extra investment.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This Government is backing Worcestershire with this new £17.5 million funding pot. Exciting projects to benefit include a new engineering facility for Heart of Worcestershire College and improvements to the A38 to speed up journey times.
“This new funding will help create jobs, boost skills and give businesses support.”
Mark Stansfeld, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership Chair, said: “In Worcestershire we are already seeing the results from the Growth Deal funding awarded to date, which is leveraging significant private and public sector funding. We are on track to deliver an extra £2.9 billion increase in Gross Value Added (GVA) locally by 2025.
“The additional £17.5 million announced today is great news and will enable further investment in schemes across the county which will improve infrastructure, deliver further housing and improve skills provision for local people. This supports us to develop a connected, creative and dynamic economy that delivers increased prosperity for all.”
Cllr Simon Geraghty, Vice Chair of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and Leader of Worcestershire County Council, added: “Recent statistics have shown that Worcestershire’s economy is growing significantly with the strongest growth in higher level workforce skills, second position for the highest growth in productivity and the third highest growth in prosperity out of all Local Enterprise Partnership areas. Today’s announcement is great news to keep up this momentum.
“This significant new funding for a range of key projects demonstrates the success of the excellent partnership the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and County Council have forged which is helping to improve connectivity, skills and economic growth across the county. We will continue to work together on our bid to the Local Transport Majors Fund for £70 million to complete the dualling of the Southern Link Road and Carrington Bridge, whilst also investing in business support and skills projects to match the growth within our local business community.”
Creating an economy that works for everyone
An ambitious strategy to help the Midlands reach its full economic potential has been published today as the Chancellor Philip Hammond visited the region the day after delivering his first Budget.
The Midlands Engine Strategy includes significant investment in skills, connectivity and local growth, while it sets out how the government plans to drive the region’s huge potential and promote it to the world.
The £12 billion Local Growth Fund provides local leaders with the cash they need to support locally determined projects. Under the fund, England’s 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships – made up of council leaders and business representatives – bid for investments based on local priorities.
Bids are highly competitive and to be successful, Local Enterprise Partnerships need to work with partners to agree strong and accountable governance and put forward proposals that boost growth and bring in private sector funding.
Over £9 billion of the Local Growth Fund has now been awarded to Local Enterprise Partnerships through three rounds of Growth Deals, helping more than 1,000 projects get started across England already – this is supporting vital infrastructure, improving skills and creating thousands of jobs. Together with money for unlocking housing sites to support home building and investment in very large transport schemes – both announced in 2016 – we have fulfilled our commitment to a £12 billion Local Growth Fund.
In Worcestershire this has already:
- Made essential improvements to Hoobrook Link Road for the ongoing development of the South Kidderminster Enterprise Park;
- Funded the development of a new facility on the Malvern Hills Science Park, which will allow new and existing businesses in the high tech sector to expand; and
- Delivered, in partnership with Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, a new Engineering Centre of Excellence in Redditch to provide training in the engineering skills that local companies require.
The Midlands Engine is the ambitious long-term economic plan to achieve greater economic growth and productivity across the whole Midlands. Our plans for the Midlands Engine demonstrate that when we say we’ll build an economy that works for everyone, we mean it.
The Government is supporting improvements in infrastructure, skills, business, environment and innovation in the Midlands. The Government is also increasing trade and investment by promoting the Midlands nationally and internationally.
Across the Midlands local people are set to benefit from £392 million investment, with Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership receiving £17.5 million to spend on projects including:
- A38 corridor improvements to speed up journey times and accelerate the delivery of housing and job growth in the area;
- Pershore Northern Link Road developments, which will enable development of commercial land and provide access for up to 700 new homes;
- Churchfields Urban Village highway infrastructure, which will relieve traffic congestion along A456 and A51 and provide access for up to 300 new homes; and
- A new Engineering Faculty working in partnership with Heart of Worcestershire College, which will see an extra 300 students per annum by 2021.