The Heart of the South West (HotSW) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has warmly welcomed the announcement by Nick Clegg today, Monday 29th October, that Plymouth will be invited to become one of the second wave of City Deals.
The initiative is a new programme designed to enable economic growth through greater financial and legislative freedoms for specific areas. This can be achieved in a number of ways including devolution of central budgets and greater flexibility in areas of statutory regulation such as planning or transport provision.
The Local Enterprise Partnership, Plymouth City Council, Cornwall and Devon County Councils have joined together to formulate a plan for the area, which will bring benefits across South West Devon, South East Cornwall as well as the immediate Plymouth environs.
Over the coming months, the partnership will work on proposals to set out a business case to central Government.
Tim Jones, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP said: “We are delighted that Plymouth has been invited to be part of this second round, but we are clear there is stiff competition.
“We need to work together for the good of the entire area, so it is most heartening to see the support from neighbouring authorities. Plymouth has the capacity to drive economic growth over a much wider spread than the city boundaries and bring prosperity to many communities.
“In order for that to happen, we have to pinpoint the barriers to growth and look at practical and effective ways to overcome these challenges. There is no new money, but there is new thinking and that can go a long way to giving us the freedom to bring about change and growth.
Plymouth Council Leader Tudor Evans said: “It is very exciting to have been asked to lead on Wave 2 City deal.
“We have been working on ideas for a while now and are ready to work with our neighbours and partners to deliver growth in the sub-region.
“We know we must be innovative not just in terms of the way in which we work to solve problems but also who we work with and the way we work together.
“Our City Deal will have benefits for jobs and prosperity beyond our city limits.”
Initial city deals have covered issues such as addressing the numbers of young people not in education, employment or training or specific initiatives to improve health or transport. Plymouth will be considering its options and producing outline proposals by Christmas.