LEP submits final Growth Plan to Government
On Monday 31 March, Sheffield City Region submitted its final Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) to Government by which it hopes to transform the local economy over the next decade.
James Newman, Sheffield City Region LEP Chairman, said:
“Our Strategic Economic Plan is a ten year strategy to grow the Sheffield City Region’s economy. It is based on creating more private sector jobs by ensuring our businesses are encouraged and incentivised to grow.
“We believe that by Government devolving more funding and powers to local business and political leaders, better decisions, better value for money and more effective delivery will be achieved than by relying on national schemes created by and managed from Whitehall.
“Local decisions, made by local people will bring local benefits – which is at the heart of the LEP’s vision.”
Barnsley Chief Executive Diana Terris, the joint Chair of the LEP Strategic Economic Plan Steering Group said:
“Our Plan asks Government to hand over the powers and funds to enable the Sheffield City Region to make improvements to skills, housing, transport and to create more and better jobs for the Sheffield City Region’s 1.8 million residents.
“The LEP is very confident that Government will recognise this as an opportunity to realise the economic potential of the Sheffield City Region and enable us to contribute much more to the strength and resilience of the UK economy.
“Through our Plan, the Sheffield City Region is asking Government to support us as we need to compete in global and national markets. Our Plan will ensure that the benefits can be felt by all parts of the Sheffield City Region, both urban and rural.
“Both the public and private sectors have identified what is needed to accelerate economic growth and create new jobs, and this Plan outlines our shared vision.”
The Minister for Cities, the Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, said:
“The Government welcomes the Strategic Economic Plan that Sheffield City Region LEP has published today and looks forward to continued engagement with local civic and business leaders over the next few months on the negotiation of their Growth Deal.
“The Growth Deal provides a fantastic opportunity for Sheffield City Region LEP to seek freedoms, flexibilities and influence over resources from government, and a share of the Local Growth Fund to put towards their the growth priorities set out in this Strategic Economic Plan. This provides the opportunity to unleash the ambition and creativity of Sheffield City Region’s local leaders, by devolving resource and responsibility in return for compelling local economic leadership in pursuit of growth.”
Local Growth Minister Kris Hopkins said:
“We are committed to supporting local communities and that is why we gave local businesses and councils not just the money but the powers to drive their own economy.
“Local Enterprise Partnerships all across the country are boosting business, creating jobs and removing barriers to local growth in a far more effective way than Whitehall. The Growth Deals will put an extra £2 billion in the hands of local people and I am delighted to see Sheffield putting forward their plans for growth.”
The LEP’s Plan has at the heart of its vision the creation of 70 000 new private sector jobs and 6000 new businesses as the engine for this growth over the next ten years.
The LEP’s Plan specifically asks Government for:
- £155 million over the next six years to fund priority infrastructure and transport projects funded through the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund, in addition to the £62m devolved major transport scheme funding already secured for that period
- £38 million over the next six years for wider skills programme including a ‘Skills Bank’ to enable businesses to access a range of training and skills options, making it easier for businesses to take on apprentices and graduates and upskill their workforce
- £25 million over the next two years to fund better further education and specialist training provision, including upgrades to existing facilities and creating cutting edge academies, including a Glass Academy, a Nuclear Elite College and Rail Engineering Academy
- £21 million for 2015/16 to fund a Growth Hub which will offer intensive business support including support for start-ups, business finance, export advice, innovation and attracting inward investment into the City Region
- £500,000 for 2015/16 for a comprehensive HS2 connectivity package which will ensure the benefits of high speed rail are maximised across the City Region
- £11 million per year up to 2021 from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund
- Ambitious investment to accelerate house building
The focus of the Plan is to ask Government to allow more local control and decision making on funding, with the powers to do so, to the LEP, which is comprised of Local Authority and business leaders.
The LEP’s Plan will now be considered by Ministers. By mid-June, the LEP expects to have agreed details of a ‘Growth Deal’ with Government, based on the Plan, which will determine powers and funding to be devolved to the Sheffield City Region.
The Growth Plan document which was submitted on March 31 2014 can be downloaded by following the link below: