Leaders hail City Deal plans

Wednesday, 31st October 2012

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The 20 cities invited to bid are to submit proposals to address a “significant local economic issues which requires transformative response that is not currently possible through existing interventions”, the government said. 

Not all cities should expect to be awarded a deal, the government added.

For the Plymouth City Deal, the Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Plymouth City Council and Cornwall and Devon County Councils are to work together to create a plan to bring benefits to the immediate Plymouth area as well as South West Devon and South East Cornwall.

Tim Jones, chairman of the HotSW LEP, said: “We are delighted that Plymouth has been invited to be part of this second round, but we are clear there is stiff competition.

“We need to work together for the good of the entire area, so it is most heartening to see the support from neighbouring authorities. Plymouth has the capacity to drive economic growth over a much wider spread than the city boundaries and bring prosperity to many communities.”

Tudor Evans, Plymouth City Council leader, said: “We have been working on ideas for a while now and are ready to work with our neighbours and partners to deliver growth in the sub-region.

“We know we must be innovative not just in terms of the way in which we work to solve problems but also who we work with and the way we work together. Our City Deal will have benefits for jobs and prosperity beyond our city limits.”

The Swindon and Wiltshire City Deal is set to focus on three economic zones: the M4 Corridor, A303 Corridor and A350 Crescent, as these have been identified by the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP as having the best potential for jobs and business growth.

Paul Johnson, chairman of the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP, said: “We are delighted that the message we have giving to government about the potential to create high value, new economy jobs in our Northern and Southern corridors has been listened to.

“Having the opportunity to work with central and local government to kick-start our economy through this initiative will give a major boost to our ability to reach our ambitious targets, as well as develop our economic infrastructure to deliver benefit to our business base, the workforce and residents of Swindon and Wiltshire.”

Tony Williams, chief executive for Bournemouth Council, said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the opportunity of a City Deal for the Bournemouth and Poole conurbation. This is a fantastic chance for us to work together with local industry to boost the economy by supporting key sectors to grow and thrive.”

The first wave of City Deals involved the country’s eight largest cities including Bristol. Collectively, the deals in the first wave have the potential to create an estimated 175,000 jobs over the next 20 years and 37,000 new apprenticeships.

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