Projects including a university research centre, a major road-widening project and the second phase of a popular business park were today granted £10m in funding from the Sheffield City Region (SCR).
At a SCR Mayoral Combined Authority meeting, chaired by Mayor Dan Jarvis, members formally agreed Local Growth Fund (LGF) funding for schemes in Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Bassetlaw.
The Local Growth Fund (LGF) is government funding awarded to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) for projects that benefit the local area and economy.
Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of the SCR LEP, said: “This is a great example of how the public and private sector work together in the SCR to get things done.
“Our ability to work collaboratively, in a straightforward and practical way, is one of the real drivers for growing investor confidence in our region.”
Mayor Jarvis said: “Today I chaired a Mayoral Combined Authority meeting that agreed £10m in funding for transformative projects.
“This is an exciting time for us in the Sheffield City Region, with hugely significant investments from world-leading companies putting us firmly on the international map.
“It is also important that whilst we’re developing these cutting-edge facilities in our Global Innovation Corridor, we are also putting in place the development projects that our communities need: roads, homes, public spaces, shops and offices – so that we can improve our region and make it fit for the 21st century.
“That’s why funding pots such as LGF, devolved to decision-makers at a regional level, are so important in supporting our communities to grow and thrive.”
A total of £3.8m in LGF funding was agreed for improvements to the A61 Sheffield inner ring road between Corporation Street and Bridge Street, which will see a new lane added in both directions. Meanwhile, £3.32m was granted for the second phase of Sheffield City Council’s successful “Grey to Green” public realm works.
The Grey to Green scheme will incorporate new cycle routes, planting and public art in an area around Castlegate and Exchange Street, north-west of Sheffield city centre, where most of the city’s largest hotels are located.
More than £600,000 was agreed for Sheffield Hallam University’s National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, a £10.6m new-build research and development facility alongside the Olympic Legacy Park in Attercliffe.
Dr Martin Howarth, director of the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, said: “The centre will support the food and drink industry to develop and implement new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment, to keep the UK at the forefront of capability and efficiency in a very competitive sector.
“It will also enhance the development of a highly educated and knowledgeable workforce, through staff development and supporting employees with experience of leading engineering systems and processes.
“This project builds on our existing strong track record of providing excellent research and knowledge transfer, and of working in partnership with industry to develop education programmes that are designed to support companies by creating highly skilled and employable graduates, ready for the world of work.”
Rotherham Council was granted £1.6m in LGF funding for the second phase of the Century Business Park, which will create 100 new jobs. Bassetlaw District Council, meanwhile, was given a grant of £135,000 towards four commercial employment units in Harrison Drive, Langold.
Cllr Simon Greaves, Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “We’re delighted that Sheffield City Region has approved this funding that will help to create four new industrial units and provide new and existing businesses with the opportunity to expand and create additional jobs.
“We hope to start work on this project in early 2019 and together with a significant level of investment from ourselves, we look forward to helping more businesses in our district to grow.”
A total of £635,000 was also agreed for Doncaster Council’s cinema and restaurant development adjacent to the Cast theatre, in the heart of Doncaster’s Civic and Cultural Quarter (CCQ). The project has previously received approval for LGF funds, but went back before the Board due to changes to the original bid.
Councillor Bill Mordue, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Economic Development at Doncaster Council, said: “This project completes another long awaited piece of the Cultural and Civic Quarter and we are pleased that the funding has now been agreed and we can proceed with the development.
“The cinema and restaurant will complement the existing Cast Theatre and civic square, followed by the new Library and Museum centre and the University Technical College both due to open in 2020.
“All these developments will enhance the education, leisure and culture offer in the area, creating new jobs for local people and bringing more visitors to Doncaster.”
By 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.
There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England, which are investing LGF money in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.