AN EXTRA £21.4 million to support businesses create jobs and economic growth in Solihull and the surrounding area has been welcomed as a massive boost for the borough and its future.
Pupils and teachers at Solihull College were joined by Councillors and MPs to welcome the announcement of the extra funding which will be handed out between 2016 and 2021 as part of the £357m Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) – which was signed off last month.
Over the lifetime of its deal the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 29,000 new jobs could be created across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP region, 7,000 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £170m public and private investment.
Across the borough extra cash is set to enhance access to major sites the including UK Central area which includes the Airport and Blythe Valley, and the Jaguar Land Rover plant.
There will be investment in public transport and walking routes to improve the connectivity throughout the borough.
Solihull College has also benefited from investment by developing an aeronautical specialist unit.
Funds will also be invested in a future skills capital programme supporting additional course provision at colleges to help ensure students get the right skills to find employment.
Speaking during the announcement at Solihull College, Solihull Council leader Coun Bob Sleigh, said he is pleased that this new tranche of funding will deliver two further major projects for Solihull.
He added: “It is important we match our ambitions with the necessary funding to deliver the required infrastructure.
“The Growth Deal is already helping us maximise the potential local benefits from the proposed HS2 interchange station, a cornerstone in our UKC growth plans, by allowing us to identify the priorities for future investment to support the wider growth opportunities.
“The UK Central vision builds on our current economic success; makes the most of our nationally significant assets (HS2 interchange station, airport, NEC, Resort World, Blythe Valley etc) and our geographical position at the heart of UK plc.”
Meriden MP Caroline Spelman 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 the borough’s long-term economic plan.
She added: “I know Solihull will lead the way with prudent investment that will maximise the benefits for local people.”
Solihull MP Lorely Burt said she has long argued that Solihull is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the West Midlands economy so was pleased this was being recognised with investment in the area.
Lorely Burt MP chats to pupils who were invited to listen in on the meeting about how Solihull is set to grow. Picture by Jon Mullis 05.015.003.sol.jm7
Leader of Solihull Council, Councillor Bob Sleigh explained how the Growth Deal is already helping Solihull. Picture by Jon Mullis 05.015.003.sol.jm5
MP Caroline Spelman believes Solihull will lead the way with prudent investment that will maximise the benefits for local people. Picture by Jon Mullis 05.015.003.sol.jm4
MP Lorely Burt welcomed the investment at Solihull College. Picture by Jon Mullis 05.015.003.sol.jm2
Local government officers and local business leaders were also in attendance to hear about plans for the £21.4million investment. Picture by Jon Mullis 05.015.003.sol.jm3