£40m bid to kick-start county’s economy

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A BID for almost £40 million to help kick-start South Yorkshire’s economy and create thousands of new jobs has been shortlisted for consideration by the Government.

Ministers are preparing to award the latest grants from the £1 billion Regional Growth Fund, which ‘supports projects with significant potential for economic growth’.

The submission by Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, made up of business and political leaders from around the area, is one of 278 bids shortlisted from an initial 414 applications.

Sheffield City Region LEP is asking for £38.6m of Government money which it says will ‘unlock’ £151.2 million of direct business investment and help create 2,193 new private sector jobs by March 2015.

The organisation predicted that there will also be ‘countless further benefits’ if its bid is successful including other jobs being safeguarded in the region.

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “While this announcement is great news, it should come as no surprise, as the Sheffield City Region has every reason to be confident in its round three programme bid.

“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 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.”

Lord Heseltine’s Advisory Panel will make recommendations to a ministerial group, led by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, that will make the final decisions in early Autumn 2012.