Sheffield submits final plan to change face of economy

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​T​HE Sheffield City Region​ has outlined its plans ​​to transform the ​area’s ​local economy over the next decade.

​T​he public-private partnership responsible for growing ​Sheffield’s​ economy submitted its final Strategic Economic Plan​ ​to​ the ​Government ​yesterday.

The Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) plan is to create 70,000 new private sector jobs and 6,000 new businesses as the engine for this growth over the next ten years.

The LEP is asking for £155m over the next six years to fund priority infrastructure and transport projects funded through the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund, in addition to the £62m devolved major transport scheme funding already secured for the period.

It also wants £38m over the next six years for a wider skills programme including a ‘Skills Bank’ to enable businesses to access a range of training and skills options, making it easier for businesses to take on apprentices and graduates and upskill their workforce.

It has asked for £25m over the next two years to fund better further education and specialist training provision, including upgrades to existing facilities and creating cutting edge academies, including a Glass Academy, a Nuclear Elite College and Rail Engineering Academy.

It is calling for a further £21m for 2015/16 to fund a Growth Hub which will offer intensive business support including support for start-ups, business finance, export advice, innovation and attracting inward investment into the City Region.

It will ask for £500,000 for 2015/16 for a comprehensive HS2 connectivity package which will ensure the benefits of high speed rail are maximised across the City Region and £11m per year up to 2021 from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

James Newman, Sheffield City Region LEP chairman, said: “Our Strategic Economic Plan is a ten-year strategy to grow the Sheffield City Region’s economy. It is based on creating more private sector jobs by ensuring our businesses are encouraged and incentivised to grow.”

Barnsley chief executive Diana Terris, the joint chair of the LEP Strategic Economic Plan Steering Group, said: “The LEP is very confident that Government will recognise this as an opportunity to realise the economic potential of the Sheffield City Region.”