• Extra £24m for Black Country Growth Deal
• Total Government investment increases to £162.7m to 2021
• Leveraging total investment in the area of up to £500m
The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an expansion to its Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £24m invested in the Black Country between 2016 and 2021.
This is in addition to the £138m of funding committed by the Government on 7 July 2014. Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015-2021) the Black Country LEP estimates that up to 5,000 new jobs could be created, 1,400 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate up to £310m public and private investment.
The additional proposed projects include:
The Black Country Growth Deal is part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies.
The Prime Minister said:
"Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain and ensure a recovery for all.
"And this is happening right across the Black Country, with more money announced today for key projects to boost the local economy as part of the multi-million pound expansion of the Government’s Growth Deals.
"And because the money will be in the control of a partnership of local community, business and civic leaders it means it will go on the things that really matter to people and businesses here.”
The Black Country LEP Chair Stewart Towe CBE said:
"The expansion of the Black Country Growth Deal is welcome news as it reinforces the momentum behind the renaissance of the Black Country. The additional investment will increase capital grants and support for business, equip the next generation with the skills they need to provide new housing and create a Light Rail Innovation Centre to develop the technology.”
Councillor Darren Cooper, Chair Black Country Joint Committee, LEP Board Member and Leader Sandwell MBC said:
"The Black Country Growth Deal is a testament to our Black Country vision and strong partnership. The additional investment announced will boost the quality of life in the Black Country by creating more jobs and building additional homes.”
1. How much is the Government investing in The Black Country as part of the Growth Deal?
Initial Growth Deal (July 2014) - total awarded
|Expansion - additional funding awarded (Jan 2015)||Total Expanded Growth Deal|
Local Growth Fund
2. What proposed projects will this new tranche of funding deliver?
This adds to the projects that were announced in July including:
3. How does this benefit the people of The Black Country?
The Black Country Growth Deal ‘Made in the Black Country Sold Around the World’ aims to drive growth opportunities through projects to support business growth, give people new skills, test new innovations, invest in roads and a railway station, and regenerate key sites for housing and employment in the Black Country. It is focusing on maximising the economic impact of growth opportunities from the Automotive, Aerospace and Construction sectors, capitalising on its key strengths in Advanced Manufacturing.
The additional funding will promote growth in The Black Country through its investment in skills through the relocation Wolverhampton College, and in the Light Rail Innovation centre in partnership with Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick, well as jobs and new houses.
According to estimates by the LEP, the Growth Deal could bring to The Black Country:
4. What is the benefit for local businesses?
As well as much needed road improvements, the Growth Deal confirms additional funding to continue the delivery of the Black Country Growth Factory business support programme; provides further grants for business expansion; and commits Government and local partners to creating a new Science, Technology and Prototype Centre, expanding the Wolverhampton Science Park facilities and extending the work of the Black Country Growth Factory and Caparo Innovation centre. The £10m centre will provide 2,839m2 of high quality managed office space as well as dedicated and/or shared workspace and laboratory / testing space to facilitate prototype and R&D activity.
This additional funding further invests in: a capital grants programme to support business expansion in the priority sectors in High Value Manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and building technologies; a programme which provides capital equipment to training providers to support employers in the engineering sector; and support for innovation in light rail industries.
5. Facts and figures
The Growth Deal is one of a number of significant recent investments in growth opportunities in the Black Country including:
Growing Places Fund total allocation: £14,488,451
Enterprise Zone funding: £16,404,000
Black Country City Deal: As a result of the Deal key industrial development sites will be made available across the Black Country to support the growth of the region’s high-value manufacturing sector, backed by a Black Country Investment Fund of £30 million.
Regional Growth Fund: Black Country LEP area has to date received £19.2m investment from the Regional Growth Fund, and could also benefit from £27.0m invested in neighbouring LEPs.
Picture caption: Proposed Light Rail Innovation centre, Castle Hill Dudley.