New £30m Government funding has been secured for the Sheffield City Region to help create jobs and improve public transport links.
The money is an extension of the area’s Growth Deal with the Government and is in addition to the £297m committed last July.
The agreement has been hailed by David Cameron and Nick Clegg, as well as local politicians who described it as the next step in Sheffield’s ‘devolution journey’ to gain more local powers over funding decisions.
It is intended the money will partly be used to extend the Local Enterprise Partnership’s business investment and support programme, assisting with the creation of 4,400 new jobs in South Yorkshire.
Money will also go towards plans to build a Rail Engineering Campus in Doncaster and support infrastructure work on the Midland Mainline to cut rail journey times from Sheffield and Chesterfield to London.
Councillor Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, chairman of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, said: “This deal marks another milestone on our ‘devolution journey’ and builds on our recent Devolution Deal which transferred additional powers and policy levers from Government to our City Region’s decision makers.
“The deal will need to be approved by Government after the General Election in May but we’re confident that this investment will be considered important by ministers of any political party as it is based on what our economy needs to grow.
“Work is already underway to maximise our funding and create thousands of new jobs and training opportunities for local people. This additional £30 million funding will accelerate and enhance this crucial work.”
James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “This is another step forward in ensuring that our City Region has the powers and funding that we need to grow our economy by growing local businesses and creating good jobs for local people.”
The money is to be invested in the area between 2016 and 2021.
Over the lifetime of the overall deal, it is estimated 15,000 new jobs could be created and 12,000 new homes built.
New proposed projects include the creation of a new Rail Engineering Campus in Doncaster, bringing together a new £50m Centre of Excellence for Rail Engineering with the HS2 National College and other major facilities to make Doncaster ‘the UK’s capital for rail engineering skills’.
More money will also be spent on green schemes to promote cycling, walking and public transport, while cash will also go towards speeding up the delivery of the rail replacement programme on Sheffield’s Supertram network.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Giving local communities the power and the money to unlock growth and development and make the spending decisions that work for them is a key part of our long-term economic plan to secure a brighter future for Britain.
“This is happening right here in Sheffield City Region, with more money announced today for key projects to boost the local economy as part of the multi-million pound expansion of the Government’s Growth Deals.
“And because the money will be in the control of a partnership of local community, business and civic leaders it means it will go on the things that really matter to people and businesses here.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg said: “A quiet revolution is underway in the Sheffield City Region and across the country, as Growth Deals signal the death of the culture where Whitehall calls the shots.
“Of course, as a local MP, I’ve seen for myself the difference it makes to give this great city more power over skills, over business support, over infrastructure spending.
“I am delighted to announce the expansion of the Sheffield City Region Growth Deal today.
“Growth Deals help create a stronger economy and a fairer society by boosting local economies, and providing more jobs, better transport and affordable homes.”