A £350 million deal to create jobs and economic growth in Solihull, Birmingham and the surrounding area has been signed off by the Deputy Prime Minister and Council leaders.
Nick Clegg joined private and public sector directors from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) board and Solihull Council leader, Coun Bob Sleigh, to sign the £357m Growth Deal.
Agreed in July 2014, the deal secures Government Funding, as well as a further investment from local partners and the private sector.
Combined together this will create a total new investment package of £437m for the GBSLEP.
Coun Sleigh welcomed the news and said: “This is great news for the whole region and in particular the benefits and opportunities it will bring to Solihull through the investment and connectivity both in HS2 and the wider industrial and skills sector.
“Solihull leads on the skills agenda for the GBSLEP so it’s pleasing to see the investments being made in skills and employment and the increased opportunities it will create for local people.”
The Growth Deal has been designed to create up to 19,000 new jobs, the building of 6,000 new homes and help 7,600 people to improve their skills, which in turn will lead to increased employment opportunities for the area.
In addition, it will help open a wider package of investment to improve transport networks, unlock stalled economic sites and boost overall skills provision across the wider Local Enterprise Partnership area.
The first tranche of projects will commence in April 2015, the GBSLEP is set to build on the current economic renaissance being enjoyed by the region.
One of the key elements of the Growth Deal is the establishment of a new way of working between the GBSLEP and Central Government to ensure the area is well positioned to exploit the potential of HS2, while maximising the benefits in terms of investment, jobs and skills.
Steve Hollis, deputy chair of the GBSLEP, said the official signing of the Growth Deal was a very exciting way to start 2015.
He added: “As well as maximising the opportunities being presented by HS2, this funding will bring much needed improvements not only to projects in the city of Birmingham, but also to those in the wider LEP area including Kidderminster, East Staffordshire and Cannock, to name but a few.”