Investment cash bid hopes rise

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Sheffield City Region’s economy could get a £190 million boost if the Government gives the go ahead for its latest bid for cash, according to Local Enterprise Partnership chairman James Newman.

Mr Newman says the region has every reason to be confident of securing the £38.6 million it is seeking from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, which he says will bring in more than £150 million-worth of private investment.

That is despite the fact that the Region has had mixed fortunes in the first two rounds of bidding for Regional Growth Fund cash and faces fierce competition from other regions, which have submitted more than 400 bids worth a total of £2.68 billion for the £1 billion the Government has available.

“Although we haven’t had our fair share of the fund so far, this time we have made Government an offer that they will find extremely attractive,” said Mr Newman.

“Our innovative programme bid asks Government to invest £38.6 million to unlock £151.2 million of direct business investment, leading to sustainable, private sector growth.

“We know that there is huge untapped potential in the City Region and this programme will demonstrate that a small amount of funding can unlock four, five, six or more times as much direct private sector investment – leading to growth and sustainable, private sector employment.

“This bid has been several months in planning and a lot of hard work has gone into getting it right – it brings together dozens of companies with robust plans for growth. This is why the LEP Board is very confident.”

The LEP believes almost 2,200 jobs will be created by the private sector over the next three years if the region’s bid is successful and adds that there would be countless further benefits including indirect jobs, and jobs being safeguarded in the region.

A decision on the bid is expected in the autumn.