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.”

Plymouth City Deal to boost jobs and growth

Plymouth City Deal to boost jobs and growthA landmark deal to give more powers and millions of pounds of government funding has been signed in Plymouth by Cities Minister Greg Clark.

The City Deal will strengthen the region’s marine and advanced manufacturing sectors, creating over 9,000 jobs and boosting the building trades.

It will also tackle deep-rooted unemployment, by providing intensive support to over 1,500 young people helping them back into employment and will support small businesses to create new jobs.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said: “This City Deal will breathe life into Plymouth’s maritime and manufacturing sectors, boosting jobs and growth in the whole region.

“Handing powers and funding from Whitehall to local people will kick-start the local economy, create over 9,000 jobs and help 1,500 young people to get into work.”

In total, £34 million of local and national public sector investment will be provided. This will lever in £262 million of private sector investment over the long term.

The Plymouth and the South West Peninsula City Deal will benefit residents across the region, including the areas covered by Plymouth City Council, Cornwall Council, Devon County Council, Somerset County Council and Torbay Council.

The deal is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand the region’s marine and advanced manufacturing industries by freeing up land. This will enable marine companies to grow their operations, the relocation of supply chain companies to the region and the creation of new marine enterprises.

Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, said: “I’m delighted to be in Plymouth to sign this landmark City Deal. I pay tribute to the way in which local politicians, businesses and the Ministry of Defence have worked so hard and effectively together for the good of the city.

“Plymouth is one of the United Kingdom’s biggest assets – known all over the world for experience and excellence in marine engineering, which is one of the fastest growing markets across the world.

“This deal draws on that success and sets Plymouth up to be an engine of growth for the national economy.”

Hull and Humber City Deal to accelerate region’s economic growth

Hull and Humber City Deal to accelerate economic growthHull City Deal is expected to unlock £460 million of investment in development along the Humber and support the creation of 4,000 jobs.

The government has today agreed the landmark Hull and Humber City Deal to make the most of the area’s local strengths to create jobs and boost growth in the area.

A 25-year development plan for commercial development will be drawn up to give businesses the confidence to invest in the region in the long term.

It will also create a single point of contact for developers, to reduce the red tape and bureaucracy that can hamper growth.

Skills programmes will be specifically developed to ensure the local workforce have the right skills to take advantage of the opportunities in the energy sector. 1,100 unemployed young people will be helped into work and unemployment will be reduced across the region.

The deal has been agreed with local authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership and will take advantage of Hull and Humber’s expertise in engineering, particularly following recent government announcements regarding the future of offshore wind energy.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “My message to Humberside is clear – as our economy turns a corner I want to see our great northern towns and cities right at the heart of the recovery.

“This new City Deal for Hull and Humber will mean a huge boost for local jobs, giving the area greater power and freedoms and allowing local people to take more decisions on the economy for themselves.”

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said: “This City Deal marks the beginning of a new era of growth and prosperity in the Hull and Humber.

“The engineering expertise in the area is among the best in the world, and this deal provides the means to improve it even more.

“As the green economy becomes ever stronger, the people and businesses of Hull and Humber can be optimistic that it will be in the vanguard of the economic recovery.”

Government boost for Scotland’s world class offshore wind sector

Government boost for Scotland’s world class offshore wind sectorCertainty and security are central to sustained investment in Scotland’s offshore wind resources, the Secretary of State for Scotland has said regarding the UK’s plan to boost the renewable industry.

The UK already leads the world in offshore wind power generation. With more capacity than the rest of the world combined the industry in the UK has the potential to create 30,000 jobs and contribute £7 billion to the UK economy by 2020.

The new strategy will help ensure that the economic benefits are felt in Scotland and across the UK by leading a strong partnership approach. Companies in Scotland already getting involved in the sector such as ROVOP and Petrofac in Aberdeen are demonstrating the demand for skills, knowledge and innovation on an international scale.

The strategy, revealed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Energy Secretary Edward Davey, is set to develop and grow a competitive UK supply chain combined with inward investment to open up opportunities for UK businesses.

The work will be led by the Offshore Wind Industry Council, a new partnership between Government and Industry chaired by Scottish Power’s CCO Keith Anderson, with support across UK Government from DECC, BIS and UKTI as well as the Scottish Government.

The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore said: “Together with the UK’s financial framework, electricity market reform providing longevity on prices for industry, significant funding for our world-leading expertise like the Offshore Renewable Catapult Centre in Glasgow and initiatives like the Edinburgh Headquartered UK Green Investment Bank, today’s strategy provides certainty and security in a long term future for offshore wind which will be vital for attracting new investment to Scotland and strengthening our supply chain in the years ahead.”

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.