Deputy PM seals £357m Growth Deal for the Midlands

Nick CleggThe Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has signed a historic Growth Deal for Birmingham and Solihull, bringing over £357 million of investment to the region to support economic growth.

The Growth Deal will help to deliver at least 13,000 jobs, allow up to 4,000 homes to be built and up-skill 7,633 people by 2021, as well as generating up to £80 million in public and private investment.

In addition, the Regional Growth Fund is providing £1.8 million towards a £17 million investment which has enabled HydraForce UK to build a new, bespoke 120,000 square-foot factory in Birmingham.

This will create and safeguard almost 200 long-term jobs while generating upwards of 100 jobs in HydraForce’s supply chain.

The Deputy Prime Minister confirmed other Regional Growth Fund awards, including Dana UK Axle, which has secured a £1 million grant to increase capacity and install cutting-edge technology, creating 400 jobs in high-tech manufacturing.

Sertec Group Holdings secured a £1.425 million RGF grant to help deliver its project to invest in new stamping equipment and robotic welding cells at their plants in Aston, Coleshill and Tyseley. This will lead to 200 new jobs.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: I’m delighted to be finalising this historic deal bringing real change to our second largest city in the UK. This significant Growth Deal will enable a whole host of jobs to be created, see scores of homes built and transport services improved. All of this is a major boost to the economy in Greater Birmingham and Solihull.

Growth Deals are about local areas leading their own growth, giving more power to people in the regions so we can work together to build a strong economy and a fairer society.

I was impressed with HydraForce’s ambitious plans to double its turnover and significantly increase its UK workforce. This US company has been in Birmingham for over a quarter of a century and this investment is securing its future in the Midlands.”

Construction gets boost from Government Growth Deals

Government investment to build thousands of new homesAs part of its long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future, the government today is agreeing a series of Growth Deals with businesses and local authorities across England.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have announced the first instalment of plans to invest at least £12 billion in local economies in a series of ‘Growth Deals’ that will boost the construction trades.

The money will go towards providing support for local businesses to train young people, create thousands of new jobs, build thousands of new homes and start hundreds of infrastructure projects.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Growth Deals are a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain’s future. For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised. Growth Deals will help change all that. They are about firing up our great cities, towns and counties so they can become powerhouses.

“By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new jobs. And that means more economic security, peace of mind and a brighter future for hardworking people across the country.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who chairs the Local Growth Cabinet Committee, said: “We are ending a culture of Whitehall knows best. Decisions over spending on infrastructure, business support and housing are being made at a truly local level. It will help end our over-reliance on the banks and the City of London, and generate growth, jobs, and ambition in towns and cities all across England.

“Growth Deals will create thousands of jobs, provide incredible new training opportunities for young people, build thousands of new homes and improve transport links across the country for people and their families; building a stronger economy and a fairer society.”

Government reveals plans to boost garden cities

Government reveals plans to boost garden citiesCommunities with ideas for a new generation of garden cities will receive support from the government, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced today.

The proposals will help communities work up proposals for ambitious new developments, which are locally-led, including at least 15,000 homes that have the backing of existing residents.

According to the government there is genuine enthusiasm and ambition for growth in communities across the country that will bring together high-quality homes as well as create new jobs.

Ministers believe these locally-led developments will play a crucial role in delivering the number of new homes the country needs, but it is vital that they are not imposed from above.

That’s why today the government also invited bids for the £1 billion of investment announced in the 2013 Autumn Statement to unlock local housing schemes of over 1,500 homes, which have their plans in place but need assistance to get the development off the ground.

The funding will unlock up to 250,000 new homes between 2015 and 2020, and provide a springboard for successful bidders who also want to deliver locally-led garden cities.

Investment will be provided through the local infrastructure fund, which is already accelerating development of 69,000 homes in areas such as Cranbrook in Devon, and Wokingham in Berkshire.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Garden cities are communities where future generations will live, work, have children, grow up and grow old.

“Today I’m publishing a new garden cities prospectus, which calls for local areas to submit their plans for garden cities that will provide affordable homes, good schools, and jobs for the next generation, while at the same time preserving the countryside.

“This is a call to arms for visionaries in local areas in need of housing to put forward radical and ambitious proposals to develop their own garden cities.”

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The coalition government scrapped top-down building targets, along with the last administration’s failed eco-towns programme, which built nothing but resentment.

“Instead, this government is committed to working with local communities who want to build more homes in attractive and sustainable developments where people can live and raise their families.

“Our £1 billion large housing sites infrastructure fund and package of support will help deliver locally-led developments in communities that want more growth and jobs in their area. It will also assist those areas with ideas for a new generation of garden cities, so they can turn their ambitions into reality.”

City Deal signed to create thousands of jobs in Oxford

City Deal signed to create thousands of jobs in OxfordDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced today a deal to hand over power to local authorities in Oxford and the surrounding area that will create up to 30,000 jobs in the trades.

The City Deal will see major improvements in local roads and public transport specifically tailored to link universities with the city’s major industrial and research centres.

Road links to the Science Vale Enterprise Zone will be improved, and the first phase of the new Science Transit public transport scheme will begin.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Today we are signing over real power from Whitehall to Oxford, giving the people who know Oxford best an unprecedented opportunity to decide how to invest millions of pounds in the region.

“The Oxford City Deal will provide the improved roads and public transport links the area needs to make the most of its world class universities and innovative science facilities.

“By creating thousands of jobs and hundreds of new apprenticeships, this deal has the genuine power to change the fortunes of many people across the region, ensuring we are building a stronger economy and doing it fairly.”

Creating jobs

More than 18,000 long term jobs will be created through the deal, plus more than 30,000 construction jobs will be created to support the area’s development.

£55 million of central government funding for innovation, transport and skills will be combined with £40 million from local authorities to bring in £600 million from the private sector and create a total of almost 50,000 jobs in the area.

Today’s announcement comes as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Cities visit the Harwell science campus to sign the historic City Deal.

The Deputy Prime Minister will also announce today grant of over £1 million for innovation centre Element Six from the Regional Growth Fund. The cash will be used to extend research and development and create 24 jobs, further boosting the region.

Funding package to deliver thousands of new homes and jobs

Funding package to deliver thousands of new homesMinisters have announced a multi-million pound boost that will see the building of 14,000 new affordable homes and create new jobs in the trades.

Sixty-nine different housing associations and developers will each receive a share of £220 million to deliver thousands of affordable homes across the country.

Work on the new properties will be started by March next year, paving the way for new jobs and employment opportunities in the construction industry.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “Today’s funding allocations will enable organisations across the country to hit the ground running, and play their vital role in getting Britain building and delivering the homes and jobs this country needs.”

The move is part of wider government efforts to get Britain building, which will lead to the fastest annual rate of affordable house building for the next two decades.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said: “I am delighted that we are delivering yet another big step in the coalition government’s drive for the fastest rate of affordable housing we’ve seen for 20 years.

“It is vital that we build more affordable homes in Britain. The Affordable Housing Guarantees will help to increase supply, making sure good quality housing is available to hard working families across the country.”

‘Hitting the ground running’

The funding is part of an expanded £450 million Affordable Housing Guarantees which will support up to £3.5 billion in government debt guarantees to deliver thousands of new homes.

Of the almost 14,000 homes this money will help deliver, the majority will be available at an affordable rent with 2,000 of those available to buy through shared ownership.

Housing associations and developers who plan to use the guarantee scheme will now work with the Affordable Housing Finance to finalise the details of the loan funding that will work alongside today’s grant allocations.