£476.7million is to be invested in Greater Manchester over the next few years with the announcement today that Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed an historic Growth Deal with the Government.
The deal, in which £169.7million has been confirmed in the first year, will help to create 5,000 jobs, support over 75,000 people learning new skills and generate up to £80million in public and private investment.
The deal will see major investments in public transport and roads, including 12 new Metrolink trams, a new Quality Bus Network Route 8 from Bolton to Manchester and new transport interchanges in Ashton & Stockport Town Centres.
It also promises to secure Greater Manchester and the North West’s place as a major centre for Life Science in the country with a new fund to be spent locally developing the industry.
The deal forms part of the coalition’s £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies from the bottom up, and part of a strategy of sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country.
Commenting on the news, Mike Blackburn, chair of Greater Manchester LEP, said: “This is a welcome boost for Greater Manchester with the secured funding enabling delivery of a range of projects that will keep our strategic aims firmly in sight.
“We particularly welcome the superb news that all current major transport schemes are now secured in terms of present funding requirements, bringing huge improvements to transport connectivity within Greater Manchester and beyond.” adding
“Amongst other aspects of our deal we also welcome additional funding and greater local freedoms and flexibilities to develop adult skills over the next two years , which will go a long way towards ensuring that we can drive our skills policy in the right direction on behalf of the region’s business base.
Sir Richard Leese, vice chair of Greater Manchester Combined Authority and spokesman on growth, said: “There are many welcome elements for business and economic growth in Greater Manchester in this deal. But it should be remembered this isn’t just a growth deal it’s a growth and reform deal. Our vision for Manchester is that growth and the reform of public services, increasing people’s independence while reducing demand and costs, go hand-in-hand. Together we believe these two strands can make Greater Manchester self-sufficient and neutral to the public purse.
“This deal is more than a funding settlement. It also contains a series of government commitments to work with Greater Manchester to trial a series of programmes to reform the way that public services are delivered. In short, it’s the first step in a process that seeks to establish a new relationship with government.
“In Greater Manchester we have a strong vision of where we want to be, a more prosperous place where everyone can share in that prosperity. By working together with us in a place-based partnership, the government can help us achieve this.”