City Deal agreed for Bristol
Bristol City Region is set to get a range of new powers after agreeing a deal under the City Deals programme, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Cities Minister Greg Clark announced today
The Government will devolve new responsibilities to give the city the flexibility it needs to attract private investment, close skills gaps and attract new jobs. The Bristol City Region expects the deal to help deliver an additional 40,000 jobs and over £1 billion of investment to support local growth over the next 30 years thanks to new financial powers.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:
“Local leaders and strong leadership are essential to the future prosperity of Britain's cities. These new powers will enable Bristol City Region to decide their own priorities for local public transport and flexibility on skills training - benefiting both employers and young people. By allowing Bristol City Region to keep the business rates growth in its Enterprise Areas, this deal will support up to £1 billion of investment locally. “This unique deal will hugely benefit ordinary people and businesses in Bristol. It also marks an important step in Government’s commitment to decentralise power and rebalance local economies.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
“This groundbreaking deal signals a dramatic power shift, freeing Bristol from Whitehall control. Everyone will feel the benefits – from young people looking for jobs, to businesses looking to expand.Over the coming months, we are transferring more and more power from Whitehall to your city. Bristol is an economic powerhouse – so it makes sense that the city decides for itself how to boost the local economy.”
Cities Minister Greg Clark said:
“This innovative deal is a watershed moment for Bristol in unlocking the city’s true potential. It will help to create jobs thousands of jobs and secure the investment in transport the city needs to thrive. When we said ‘make us an offer’ the city really stepped up to the challenge and will now reap the benefits of having new financial powers freedoms handed down from Government.”
West of England Local Enterprise Partnership Chair Colin Skellett said:
"Today's announcement is a strong vote of confidence from Government in our region's businesses to drive growth and create jobs. It is also an excellent example of what can be achieved by the four local authorities and business working together so effectively. This is a deal for high tech growth that builds on the West of England's strengths in engineering, the digital and creative sectors. It gives us unprecedented input into the skills training of our young people to ensure we're meeting the future needs of businesses across the city and region."
Bristol City Council Leader Simon Cook said:
"The City Deal package represents an historic devolution of powers from Whitehall that we have long argued for. It is very good news that business rates will be back in local hands and that we'll be able to borrow against those revenues to invest in development. For the first time we'll have the ability to drive our own economic strategy and make the much-needed investment in our infrastructure, in particular in our rail system which is in urgent need of more capacity."
The announcement was made today as the Minister visited Xmos, which is a semiconductor company in Bristol, whose technology is used globally to develop electronics products.
The five-part deal for Bristol will be delivered by Government in return for strong local leadership and strengthened governance structures. These are:
- The growth incentive and the economic investment fund, which will allow West of England to keep 100 per cent of growth in business rates over 25 years to invest in projects, allowing authorities to deliver an investment programme worth £1 billion over 30 years
- Ten years of major funding allocation for the Greater Bristol Metro; flexible delivery for the Bus Rapid Transit Network which will allow savings to be recycled locally; and new powers over rail planning and delivery
- A Public Property Board will manage up to £1 billion of City Council assets and an estimated 180 land and property assets to unlock more land for economic growth or housing and to lever in additional public or private investment.
- A city growth hub with up to £2.25 million of Government funding which will provide additional support to inward investors. This will be based in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and will work closely with UK Trade and Investment.
- The business community and local enterprise partnership will have more influence in skills provision in the city region, in particular the £114 million Skills Funding Agency funding for Further Education colleges for post-16 provision, to help capture employer demand.
Bristol is one of eight cities confirming their deals today. Also being announced are Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham and Liverpool. Collectively, the deals have the potential to create an estimated 175,000 jobs over the next 20 years and 37,000 new apprenticeships.
The deals remain unique to the individual cities, and cover a range of powers such as investment funds, tools to address skills gaps and infrastructure projects.
Bristol City Deal Summary:
The Bristol City Region Deal is made up of 5 main elements:
- Growth Incentive Proposition: the headline proposition in the Bristol Deal, creates a genuine incentive for the city region to invest in economic growth and job creation. The West of England authorities will be allowed to keep 100% of the growth in business rates raised in the city region’s network of Enterprise Areas, over a 25 year period. This income will be used, in combination with other funding sources, to create an Economic Development Fund for the West of England worth £1 billion over 25 years. Income will also be used to manage local demographic and service pressures arising from economic growth. The Fund will deliver an investment programme designed to maximise economic returns in all the Enterprise Areas including the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. In addition, the Government will commit to a review of the scope for rolling out a growth incentive scheme across the West of England at the next Spending Review.
- Transport Devolution Agreement: this will ensure that the necessary powers are devolved alongside the investment in major transport schemes and the Greater Bristol Metro. This includes: a 10 year transport funding allocation from the post 2014 national Major Transport Scheme Budget to enable delivery of the Greater Bristol Metro; programme flexibility for the delivery of the Bus Rapid Transit network enabling the West of England to recycle savings locally; and new powers over rail planning and delivery.
- People & Skills Programme: this is focussed firmly on giving the business community real influence over skills provision in the city region, particularly over the £114 million of Skills Funding Agency funding for Further Education colleges for post-16 provision, with governance provided by the LEP Skills Group. In addition, an investment programme initially worth £5 million for employability and employee-ownership of skills pilots will be closely aligned with our spatial priorities in the form of the Economic Development Fund.
- The City Growth Hub: this will provide an enhanced inward investment service that will pool expertise and capacity across the West of England and provide additional support for inward investors to help grow their businesses and find the right skills locally to match their needs. The Hub will be located in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, a shop-front location for the investment opportunities in the West of England. UKTI will work closely with the inward investment service to enhance the capability of the West of England to attract investment and boost trade. Similarly, DWP will work closely with the West of England to deliver an effective employment and skills pilot in the Enterprise Zone.
- Bristol Public Property Board: comprising all relevant Government departments and Bristol City Council, this will manage up to £1 billion of Bristol City Council assets and an estimated 180 land and property assets in the ownership of a range of other public sector partners. Integrated management of the portfolio will help to unlock more land for economic growth or housing, use assets to lever in other public and private sector investment and generate operational efficiencies by co-locating services.
For more information, please contact Ian Bell.
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