This month has marked the start of a great future for Yorkshire.
After a long 12 months of close collaboration with public and private sector partners, our partnership has secured over £110m in government investment as part of the first round of the Local Growth Fund. This will lead to the creation of up to 4,000 new jobs, 5,000 new homes and will make Yorkshire a global leader in food manufacturing, agritech and biorenewables.
At the end of March, when we submitted our Strategic Economic Plan to government we declared that we had five key priorities that we wanted government to support.
They were that we would become a global leader in food manufacturing, agritech and biorenewables, have inspired people, successful and distinctive places, a well-connected economy and profitable and ambitious small and micro businesses.
The investment we’ve secured will go into funding 13 projects that support those five.
A global leader in food, manufacturing, agritech and biorenewables: This was the story that received national attention and that best sums up how we are presenting Yorkshire to the nation and the world.
Building upon our rich food heritage we are connecting food producers to outstanding business opportunities in our growing agritech and biorenewables sectors.
The development of the Sand Hutton AgriFood Campus as well as the creation of a BioHub at the University of York will make our region the global leader in food innovation, create over a thousand high quality jobs and ensure that Yorkshire’s food businesses can be first-in-line to reap innovation’s rewards.
We will also be supporting Askham Bryan College in the creation of a new engineering centre of excellence and agritech training centre so that learners can develop the skills that employers will need to take advantage of new opportunities in these growing industries.
Inspired people: We want our growing businesses to have access to a productive workforce.
The developments at Askham Bryan will play a big part in helping businesses do that and we’ve also secured investment for the refurbishment and creation of new facilities at Harrogate College.
These upgrades will ensure that learners have access to high quality, hands-on, educational facilities.
Successful and distinctive places: In order to ensure that we can unlock major growth opportunities in our towns and cities we shall be funding employment and housing growth projects in Scarborough, Northallerton, Catterick Garrison and Selby.
This means we can get more money to be spent locally and we can give workers the opportunities to move into new housing.
A well connected economy: Not only are we a predominantly rural LEP, we’re also the longest and widest LEP in the country.
Unless transportation and connectivity issues are addressed, this could present massive challenges to businesses. Government has agreed to invest over £40m in road works to North Yorkshire and East Riding.
This is a strong foundation and we will build upon this in the years and funding rounds to come.
Profitable and ambitious small and micro businesses: Finally, in order to support our small and micro business community, government will be investing in the creation of a growth hub that will help us connect hundreds of business support partners to the thousands of businesses across our patch who are looking to grow.
By focusing on using existing business support networks instead of creating new ones, we’ll be able to provide business support from Skipton to Whitby, ensuring that every business can get the help it needs.
None of these projects work in isolation.
They’re stage one of a larger plan for developing our LEP. In the funding rounds that follow, we’ll continue to bring in investment for projects that meet our five priorities so that our partnership can develop the strong economy that the region deserves.