We live in exciting times in the Sheffield City Region.
Our economic figures from this year’s second quarter show businesses reporting increased sales, and plans to recruit.
We are nearing the end of an inclusive consultation exercise over the devolved powers we are gaining as a region. We are working hard to ensure we adapt to the changes brought about by the recent EU referendum positively and constructively, and we welcome the fact that businesses are looking for opportunities as they and the government adapt to the new reality.
The team at the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership is also working steadfastly to fulfil the promises we made when our dynamic public-private partnership was formed to create new jobs and enable economic growth.
So it’s good to step back occasionally and add up what has been achieved as we come up to our fifth anniversary. We were prompted to do that by a packed breakfast meeting when businesses from across the region put far-seeing questions about the use of our devolved powers.
One questioner wanted to know how infrastructure works could be speeded up, because without roads and connectivity there can be no development.
To my delight I can report that we have wasted no time in doing what we said we would – create a climate where business can flourish and investors can be confident by creating the infrastructure it is built on.
The evidence is clear. Our great region has been and will continue to be transformed through the use of the innovative Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Fund (SCRIF).
SCRIF is investing in more than 30 major projects which are currently at different stages of completion, or passing through the relevant approvals process.
Some will improve access to development sites: Doncaster’s Waterfront Quarter and Chesterfield’s Peak Resort leisure destination are examples. Some, such as the Vesuvius former brickworks site in Worksop, will unlock commercial development and home building.
Others will provide greater access to our motorways and major infrastructure assets: such as the improvements to Junction 36 of the M1 in Barnsley.
SCRIF helps the SCR tackle the big issues for residents and businesses. The visionary ‘Grey to Green’ corridor which runs from Sheffield’s Kelham and Wicker areas along to Castlegate and Victoria Quays is a fantastic example of a project that makes physical improvements – in this case by enhancing flood defences – and simultaneously uplifts the whole experience of an area. Other projects which are well underway include:
The Seymour Link Road at Markham Vale – £3.8million grant
Building on the success of the Markham Vale Enterprise Zone, the Seymour Road link opens up the Markham Vale North site to the M1 at Junction 29A, and connects development land for large international and regional occupiers.
University of Sheffield city centre campus Phase 1 – £2.9million grant
Improvements to roads, footpaths and public open spaces that unlock 48,000 sq. m of development land between Mappin Street and Western Bank/Clarkson Street.
Superfast South Yorkshire – £11million grant
A project aiming to provide Superfast Broadband throughout South Yorkshire by 2017.
SCR Jessica loan (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) – £10 million
The loan will be invested in commercial property developments; this is part of the SCR investment strategy which brings forward schemes at a faster pace than they would otherwise achieve.
Bus Rapid Transit North Rotherham to Sheffield via the Lower Don Valley – £4 million
Providing a new transport route for thousands of travellers between the centres of Rotherham and Sheffield. Funding is being used to help complete a link at Tinsley which runs under the M1 at Meadowhall.
M1 Junction 36 for the Dearne Valley Economic Growth Corridor – £15.7 million
Improvements at Hoyland (Phase 1) and Goldthorpe (Phase 2) to open up employment land.
These works and others in the future will help to make the Region an even more competitive centre of excellence for domestic and international companies alike. I am delighted and proud to record these achievements – and I look forward to another five years of the Region’s success!
Other schemes where a contract has been awarded include:
|The Olympic Legacy Park||£4.9million
|Worksop Vesuvius Site Phase 1||£0.5million
|Doncaster Civic and Cultural Quarter||£0.6million