Plans have been submitted calling for a £500 million investment in the local economy by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (GCGP).
GCGP’s strategic economic plan, submitted on March 31, is one of 39 being submitted by LEPs to Government vying for a share of the local growth fund via the growth deal process.
The local growth fund will inject at least £2 billion of funding per year into economic growth related projects over the next six years.
The GCGP LEP invested £2 million in helping to put in place the infrastructure of the £100 million Haverhill Research Park.
In total GCGP has bid for £119 million of funding for 2015/16, with an overall funding bid of £500 million over the next six years.
As a result of the investment, the Plan would support the delivery of 70,000 new jobs and 50,000 new homes, leading to a £2.8 billion uplift in GVA across the LEP area.
The plan forms the basis by which individual growth deals will be negotiated by LEPs with Government to determine future funding levels from the local growth fund.
Adrian Cannard, strategy and planning director at the GCGP LEP, said: “Our strategic economic plan clearly demonstrates the fantastic potential that our area has to create new jobs, at the same time as supporting new homes and infrastructure.
“We have been bold in our ask, but are confident that our plans are robust and will deliver results for our local area.
“We have developed the plan alongside business and other key partners, such as our local authorities, to ensure that it reflects what is really required to develop our local economy further.
“We will now be engaging in tough negotiations with Government to secure the best possible outcome to support new jobs and economic growth in our area over the next six years.”
The plan focuses on five core elements:
· Digital – to become the UK’s exemplar area for digital connectivity and bolster our position as a leader in the Internet of Things;
· Infrastructure – to enable a transport network fit for an economically vital high growth area;
· Skills – to remove the skills barriers to continued growth and facilitate a truly business-led approach to skills delivery;
· Commercial Property – to respond to existing market pressures by supporting the provision of additional commercial space where it is most needed; and,
· Business Growth – to accelerate the momentum of business growth by offering targeted, coherent and approach support and advice.
Running through these five core elements are plans to ensure the continued momentum of delivery at Alconbury Enterprise Zone.
In addition to the Growth Deal, GCGP is working hard to finalise the European Structural and Investment Funds Strategy which could draw in over £70 million worth of European funding to the local area.
Grahame Nix, chief executive of GCGP, said: “It is an exciting time for our LEP, with a range of new funding opportunities that will enable us to have a significant positive impact on our local economy.
“We have two of the fastest growing cities in the UK in our area, and now is the time to harness that growth potential and turn it into new jobs, new skills, new homes and new infrastructure that will benefit the whole of our LEP area.
“We look forward to negotiating our Growth Deal with Government and are hopeful of a resolution before the summer recess.”
Government is expected to agree growth deals with LEPs by mid-2014, with the funding available from April 2015.
You can find out more about the work of GCGP by visiting www.gcgp.co.uk
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (April 24) Echo.