March 14 2014 Latest news:
Annabelle Dickson, Political Editor
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Nick Clegg has hailed a deal which he claims could pave the way for 19,000 new jobs by 2026 in Norwich by giving more local power to the city to “make its own luck”.
The headline aims
The architects of the deal claim it will create an extra 13,000 jobs, 3,000 homes and 6,000 construction jobs.
They expect there to be 3,000 high-value jobs at Norwich Research Park, 2,000 jobs around Norwich International Airport and 1,000 jobs based around Norwich University of the Arts.
How will this be achieved?
This is the new part of the announcement. The final deal to be signed today includes an extra £43m from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) at a specially discounted rate, on top of the £37m already agreed.
It will allow the city to give loans to developers to build infrastructure, such as new access roads, utilities and even potentially schools, which are needed if they are to be able to build houses.
Help for companies to innovate
The local enterprise partnership announced earlier this month that it has secured £3.9m to help existing businesses get access to national and local business support.
A multi-million-pound strategy to help equip the future workforce of Suffolk and Norfolk with the skills required for businesses to achieve full growth potential.
The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) unveiled a Skills Manifesto, the result of a year-long consultation with businesses and other stakeholders across the two counties.
The deputy prime minister, (pictured bottom right), will visit Norwich today to sign a so-called “City Deal” with local authorities and the local enterprise partnership, which will allow the region access to £80m of cheap loans for developers to kick-start key infrastructure projects, provide support and loans for existing and new businesses and money to improve skills.
He challenged local decision- makers, saying: “At the heart of this deal is a great big transfer of power and resources in the Greater Norwich Area and away from Whitehall and it is really up to the LEP, the universities, the employers, the NRP to make use of these new freedoms, and if they fail to do so, the buck stops with them.”
Mr Clegg said the architects of the deal – the New Anglia local enterprise partnership and local authorities – claim it will create 19,000 jobs and unlock millions of pounds of private investment in the area.
He admitted that “everything depends on getting the delivery”, but added: “I am very confident, having spent months poring over the details, that the proposals put to us by folk in the Norwich area are a really fresh, exciting, optimistic approach to the local economy’s future. It is not simply asking for handouts from Whitehall. It is actually investing in the brain power of the area, mobilising the intellectual muscle of the area and building on the research park.”
Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which helped draw up the deal, said: “We are delighted to have played our part in securing this deal for Norwich. The deal is a huge step in realising our ambition of creating thousands of new hi-tech jobs in Greater Norwich from new and existing enterprises.
“It will also enable the delivery of the supporting infrastructure and skilled local workforce that a modern economy needs to succeed.”
A Greater Norwich Growth Board has been proposed to oversee the delivery of the City Deal and the area’s wider programme for growth.
Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council and chairman of the Greater Norwich Development Partnership, said: “Greater Norwich has all the ingredients it needs to make a major contribution to the UK’s growth over the coming years.
“I am so proud that the partners’ successful collaboration in securing this City Deal will help the area fulfil its potential and pave the way for a bright and prosperous future. We are now committed to delivering these plans for the benefit of the area, its residents and businesses.”
Broadland District Council, South Norfolk Council and Norfolk County Council have all been involved in the deal.