A massive £23m was today awarded to projects across the Sheffield City Region which are set to boost the tourist economy, revitalise urban centres and improve transport connections.
At the SCR Mayoral Combined Authority meeting, chaired by Mayor Dan Jarvis and held in Doncaster, members formally agreed Local Growth Fund (LGF) funding for schemes in Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield.
The Local Growth Fund (LGF) is government funding awarded to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) for projects that benefit the local area and economy.
Mayor Jarvis said: “This funding is transformative. It’s also a great example of the Mayoral Combined Authority and LEP driving real change for communities across the Sheffield City Region.
“By investing in developments such as these, we will create jobs, attract investment, boost our tourism offer and also continue the SCR’s strong track record in building places where people want to live, work and play.
“I said that I would champion our region’s visitor economy, build on our region’s significant strengths, and seize new opportunities. Today’s funding announcement shows that I’m making that ambition a reality.”
Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “This award of around £23m to projects across Sheffield City Region illustrates just how valuable the Local Growth Fund programme is for local communities and businesses.
“Not only will it create and secure hundreds of local jobs, but it demonstrates the huge breadth of how the Government’s Local Growth Fund programme is unlocking local economic growth – from improving transport connectivity and growing new tourism assets, to supporting new tech firms and the revitalisation of local town centres.
“LGF is supporting critical local growth projects like this right across the Northern Powerhouse, and I congratulate the Mayor and LEP for their commitment to Sheffield City Region’s bright economic future.”
The largest grant announced today is £7.4m for the Glass Works development in Barnsley town centre. Funding will contribute to new retail and restaurant units, a market kitchen food court and offices, as well as the demolition of an existing multi storey car park. The development aims to “revitalise Barnsley’s historic markets with a contemporary twist”, and create “a modern town centre with traditional community beliefs”, bringing with it almost 700 new jobs.
A grant of £7.32m has been approved for road improvements along the M1 J36 Economic Growth Corridor in Goldthorpe, to deliver 73 hectares of new employment land. Works will take place on three existing roundabouts, at Cathill, Broomhill and Wath Road, while a new roundabout will also be created off the A635.
A £2.13m grant has also been approved for Barnsley’s Digital Media Centre, to create a Digital Media Centre 2 providing new space for digital and creative businesses. The current Digital Media Centre is close to capacity, so the second phase will enable the facility to become home to creative businesses of the future. The project aims to deliver up to 94 new full time jobs.
Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place said: “We’re delighted to secure this significant funding to support three major projects in the borough.
“The Glass Works development will transform the town centre, and this funding will support the creation of a fantastic retail, leisure and dining offer. The road improvements along the J36 growth corridor are vital to the wider economic regeneration and growth of Barnsley, and the wider Sheffield City Region. Our Digital Media Centre here in Barnsley is also thriving, and we are now able to progress plans for an exciting expansion to create DMC2, providing a real creative hub for businesses.
“Overall it’s fantastic news for Barnsley. This investment will drive forward our plans for more and better jobs in the borough, strengthen our economic growth, and no doubt attract more visitors and businesses to the area. We have ambitious plans for Barnsley, and we are delighted this vision is being supported.”
A loan of £4.8m has also been approved for the Parkwood Springs extreme sports development in Sheffield. The LGF money will be used towards the site remediation, new utilities and a new access road at Parkwood Springs, while the centre itself will be paid for with private sector funding.
Cllr Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment at Sheffield City Council, said, “This is another important milestone for the Parkwood leisure project.
“We still have lots more work ahead of us and we will say lots more about the project in the future but for now, it’s very good news that the Combined Authority has confirmed this element. It will allow SCC to work with the developer to unlock infrastructure and access constraints at the site in due course.”
And a LGF loan of £3.5m has been agreed to provide additional car parking spaces at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, enabling the expansion of the Meet & Greet car park by between 1,500–1,800 parking spaces, and a further 500–750 self-park spaces. Our region’s airport is the fastest-growing in the UK and is a key driver for economic growth.
By 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund. 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.
* Mayor Dan Jarvis (left) and James Muir (Right)