Huge growth plan submitted

Hopes of generating £3bn of additional economic output and 70,000 jobs in the Sheffield City Region over the next decade are encapsulated in a plan submitted to the Government today (Thursday).

The Local Enterprise Partnership, the public-private partnership responsible for boosting local economic growth, is asking for more power and control over how money is spent locally.

Its strategy includes:

n A new initiative called the Top 1,000 which will focus on giving intensive support to the local businesses with the highest potential for economic growth

n A ‘Skills Bank’ to enable businesses to access a range of training and skills options, making it easier to take on apprentices and graduates

n Incentives and promotional activity to attract 20,000 jobs to the City Region from the UK and overseas

n An ultramodern public transport system to connect urban centres and key development areas

n The unlocking of key housing sites

The LEP’s growth plan marks the start of a negotiation process with government over powers and funding to be devolved from Whitehall, and will form the basis for a series of public consultations with businesses and residents.

LEP chairman James Newman said it sets out an ambition to transform the local economy.

“The plan will ask government to hand over the powers and funds to enable the Sheffield City Region to make improvements to skills, housing, transport and to create more and better jobs for the Sheffield City Region’s 1.8m residents.

“The Sheffield City Region is aiming to develop a stronger private sector. To achieve this, we must do more to attract investors to do business here, to increase our exports, to support high-growth businesses to realise growth potential, and to compete on the international stage.”

Barnsley chief executive Diana Terris, joint-chair of the LEP Growth Plan Steering Group, said: “Both the public and private sectors have identified what is needed to accelerate economic growth and create new jobs, and the Growth Plan outlines our shared vision.”

The City Region comprises the nine local authority areas of Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham and Sheffield.