£156m funding bid to create 12,500 jobs and £2.7bn economic boost in Sheffield City Region

Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership. Picture: Andrew Roe
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More than 12,000 jobs and a £2.7bn economic boost for the region could be created if a £156m bid for central government funds is approved.

Some £107m of the total would be spent on infrastructure in the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, on the Sheffield/Rotherham border, and at Doncaster Airport. It would also ‘unlock’ 6,600 homes and £220m of private investment across Sheffield City Region, according to the Local Enterprise Partnership which submitted the application as part of its devolution deal.

The LEP also wants to spend £20m on sustainable transport including more cycle commuting, park-and-rides and buses on key routes.

And it would invest £28m in a National Institute for Infrastructure and training facilities in advanced manufacturing and materials in Sheffield and engineering and logistics in Doncaster.

Finally, some £1.5m would be used to help disadvantaged people aged 19 to 24 with specialist learning and key worker support.

The bid is for central government funding from 2018 to 2021.

The LEP is the business and regeneration body which encompasses nine council areas and includes 1.5m people and 52,000 businesses. It negotiated a devolution deal in return for an elected mayor from 2018.

Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “Our bid clearly sets out what we need to continue to transform the local economy over the next few years.

“This funding will help us to build on our successes to date, which have already created or safeguarded 4,330 jobs, unlocked over £200m of private sector investment, generated 2,500 apprenticeships and upskilled 1,700 employees.

“I am confident that this bid will be well received by Government officials as they continue to take steps to devolve powers and funding to enable us to make our Growth Plan a reality.

“Our vision is ambitious and we are determined to hit our targets – this latest bid is the latest important step we are making in order to create 70,000 jobs and 6,000 new businesses in just 10 years.”

Sheffield’s bid is up against 38 other LEPs for a share of a pot worth £1.8bn.

A spokesman said: “Sheffield City Region has been successful at securing funding in the past because it has clearly shown how it will effectively use devolved funds to unlock growth and create jobs.

“This bid, like the two previous successful ones, has been true to the vision of the Sheffield City Region Growth Plan; to meet the shared ambitions of local partners committed to working together to create 70,000 new jobs and 6,000 new businesses over the next decade.”