Monday, September 9, 2013

News: Sheffield city region's growth plan comes into focus

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Business and council leaders from across the Sheffield city region met recently to discuss what is needed to stimulate economic growth and create jobs over the next decade.

The Government's new model of local economic growth centres around Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), a collaboration between businesses and the local authorities that are placed at the heart of growth in the regions. In response to the Heseltine Review, the Government have charged LEPs with putting together local growth plans that will be the basis on which the Government negotiates deals with each LEP for new levers, resources, funding and flexibility over them.

In the future, LEPs will then be able to bid into a single pot of funding to support their plans.

The Sheffield City Region LEP invited business and council leaders from Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham and Sheffield to identify the key future priorities for the city region.

The meeting identified the areas on which a growth plan would need to focus. These included how to better promote and sell the city region, grow existing businesses, attract investment, accelerate improvement in education and skills, and encourage creativity and innovative ideas.

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "This was an incredibly positive event which shows the significant scale of ambition of leaders in the Sheffield city region.

"It is clear that leaders from the public and private sector are keenly committed to working together to create economic growth and jobs for our city region."

Earlier this year the LEP consulted on an Economic Overview, which identified key priorities for economic growth in the city region and set out the objectives of increasing GVA (the value of goods and services produced in the area), increasing the number of jobs, rebalancing the economy by increasing the numbers employed by the private sector and capitalising on the quality of life to deliver sustainable growth.

One main priority is to maximise the potential of key growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, creative and digital industries, healthcare technologies, logistics and low carbon. This is coupled with putting in place the foundations to unlock growth.

Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: Sheffield City Region LEP

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