As the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Board’s (LEP) newest member, I had the opportunity to attend the recent LEP Business Conference which was a large gathering from the private and public sector.
I was instantly impressed with the scale of business backing for the LEP that came from across from the City Region and it was clear that businesses are keen to get behind the LEP’s vision of growing the economy and creating 6,000 businesses and 70,000 jobs.
Through my work at law firm Nabarro, I advise on key construction and infrastructure projects which are a positive sign in itself for the City Region. But this forum showed me the huge level of interest and determination from business leaders and our nine local authority partners to be part of what the LEP is trying to achieve in the future.
A major part of the LEP’s plans to grow and strengthen our economy is focused on getting new investors interested and excited about what Sheffield City Region can offer.
This progress is evident with some of the recent cases of substantial investments in the Sheffield City Region.
Recent announcements include the Scarborough Group securing planning consent for two office buildings at Sheffield Digital Campus, the £400m US investment in the Peak Resort intended to be a major leisure attraction in Chesterfield, the £65m Chinese inward investment plan for New Era Square and the University of Sheffield’s Factory 2050, which will build a £43m centre of excellence for advanced manufacturing.
South Korean boiler manufacturer KD Navien recently chose Rotherham to be the location for its UK headquarters and not forgetting the plans for the National High Speed Rail College in Doncaster, which will make this historic rail town into an academic centre for the next generation of rail engineers.
Some of the most powerful people in property are seeing the value proposition of the UK regions and Sheffield City Region is at the very heart of this.
This is an exciting step forward for our City Region.