Wednesday, October 19, 2016

News: Infrastructure asks outlined by Sheffield city region

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The Sheffield city region (SCR) has unveiled a plan to prioritise and ensure efficient investment in infrastructure that is set to see key projects delivered quicker.

The Government is establishing The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) which is to set out a clear picture of the future infrastructure the county needs. With a focus on fostering long-term and sustainable economic growth across all regions of the UK, the SCR is the first region outside London to launch an Integrated Infrastructure Plan – known as IIP.

The plan covers transport, investment-ready commercial space, digital connections, good quality new homes, improved flood defences and sustainable energy and will be an important part of realising the Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP) Growth Plan, which set an ambitious target of creating 70,000 new jobs in the SCR by 2023.

One priority project for inclusion is the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID). Recognising that high value manufacturing can be key to driving innovation, productivity and exports, civic leaders have committed to the idea of "supercharging" the areas of advanced manufacturing in the Sheffield-Rotherham Economic Corridor. Based around the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and surrounding Enterprise Zone, the aim is to develop Europe's largest research-led advanced manufacturing cluster.

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In previous devolution proposals, the SCR asked for a £250m commitment from the Government to the Sheffield City Region, based around the Innovation District as a national demonstrator for place based innovation programmes with LEPs. It added that "Government investment will be matched by company investment at 50% and further leveraged through local resources to deliver a £600m science and innovation programme over five years."

The infrastructure plan sets out that investment is needed to provide better transport connections, speed energy generation and tackle flood risk to speed up the development of the innovation district.

Other priorities include Sheffield city centre, the airport corridor in Doncaster and the A61 Corridor and Chesterfield.

Martin McKervey, a partner at international law firm Nabarro LLP and chair of the SCR's Infrastructure Development Group. He said: "The IIP has been constructed to be outcome focused and aligned with the objectives set out in the region's Strategic Economic Plan.

"Delivering this plan will help make SCR ready for investors, and play a key part in the Northern Powerhouse.

"Thanks to devolution, and the funding it will bring, the plan can underpin our path as we take greater control over our future economic prosperity. We have the freedom to choose the solutions that work for our area.

"It's an exciting time for the Sheffield city region and we can look ahead confident that we have a robust and pragmatic plan for achieving economic growth and jobs."

The IIP is being launched at MIPIM UK - the UK's largest exhibition and conference for property professionals. A delegation of local business leaders from SCR will attend the event in London followed by the principle MIPIM event France in March 2017.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP (pictured), said: "We know exactly how we will ensure projects can get up and running without delay as we've mapped it all in our Integrated Infrastructure Plan.

"We have significant assets ready for investment, a straightforward approach to planning and infrastructure, and committed support for skills, training and business growth. Our Integrated Infrastructure Plan sets ambitious targets on job creation and attracting businesses to the region. We remain firmly committed to this and that is why our offer to investors is so strong."

Sheffield City Region LEP website

Images: Sheffield City Region LEP


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