£12 billion ‘Growth Deals’ to fire up local economies


Manchester Metrolink. Photo: James Layhe

The Government has agreed a series of ‘Growth Deals’ with businesses and local authorities to improve infrastructure and boost the economy.


The £12 billion plan, announced by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, will provide training for young people, create thousands of engineering jobs, build thousands of new homes and kick start infrastructure projects; including transport improvements and superfast broadband networks.


A £6 billion first tranche of Growth Deals has been agreed today. The projects beginning in 2015 to 2016 are expected to be matched by local investments worth around twice the contribution from central government.


Some of the major projects that will be built include: £18M revamp of Manchester’s Metrolink; £23M new road tunnel linking Swindon to Wichelstowe; the creation of a new National Agri-Food Campus in York; funding for Birmingham to help the city make the most of HS2, and funding for broadband networks in areas where provision is not currently available.


Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Growth Deals are a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain’s future. For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised. Growth Deals will help change all that. They are about firing up our great cities, towns and counties so they can become powerhouses.


“By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new job opportunities. And that means more economic security, peace of mind and a brighter future for hardworking people across the country.”


Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, said: “This is a landmark day for Britain’s local economies. National growth is the sum of local growth. For Britain to prosper every part of the country needs to fulfill its potential. No two places are the same and the people who live, work and do business in each place know best what their area needs to do well. Today is the day when we back local leaders to create construction jobs and prosperity in their area.