2019 has been a prosperous year for the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership in terms of investment and improvements for the city region.
Working with GMCA, the GM LEP secured £494.5m of Growth Deal investment between 2015 and 2021, to help to create 6,250 jobs.
£140 million was allocated for Skills and Economy and £354 million for Transport (TfGM) projects.
The LEP Growth Deal Programme supports a range of initiatives to boost the local economy and strengthen public services.
In total, 23 projects have been taken forward under the programme, and grants have been secured for 13 projects that will help to create world class learning facilities in further education.
There are also 35 transport improvement projects that have begun with the objective of supporting sustainable economic development and growth. These projects will contribute to a better integrated transport network across Greater Manchester.
Some of these projects include major highway improvement schemes: improving traffic flow and capacity on the Manchester and Salford Inner Relief Route (MSIRR), and the Salford and Bolton Network Improvement Scheme (SBNI), which delivers improved bus and cycling infrastructure.
Also, Stockport Town Centre and Interchange projects – town centre regeneration, and the development of a first-class travel experience for bus and train passengers as well as cycling and walking improvements to create better access to amenities.
As a region, Greater Manchester is committed to many more transport investment projects that improve access to employment, education, healthcare and retail opportunities and Growth Deal funding continues to play an integral role in making these a reality.
And for growth and skills in Greater Manchester, there is a plethora of pioneering projects in development including: a £35 million School of Digital Arts (SODA) at Manchester Metropolitan University, Life Science Investment Fund, Graphene Centre, Pankhurst Centre which is a health and innovation research facility at the University of Manchester and a £10million Cyber Security Innovation Centre which will host start-ups, and a hub of security organisations including GMP and the cyber foundry programme.
Skills capital funding is used to develop world class industry standard learning facilities to improve the supply of skilled individuals to meet the ever changing economic needs of the Greater Manchester labour market.
In particular, it will support the delivery of the priorities included in the Greater Manchester Work and Skills Strategy 2016-19 and the priority growth sectors identified in Greater Manchester’s Local Industrial Strategy to ensure the local further education sector provides the best possible environment and equipment for learners.
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the LEP are responsible for the strategic allocation of these funds. They have already approved over £75m of projects throughout rounds 1 and 2 of Skills Capital. There are 13 capital projects either completed or in progress at present.
All the projects are driving innovation and science investment, and ensuring that local businesses get the support they need when they need it.
Investing in Greater Manchester further education colleges and providers, ensures the supply of skills matches the needs of local employers and that the residents can take advantage of the growing local economy.
Chair of Greater Manchester LEP Mike Blackburn said:
“The LEP have been investing millions into the people and businesses of Greater Manchester to create the jobs and economic growth we need. Because Greater Manchester LEP’s business-led partnership brings together the region’s private and public leaders, we can use our local knowledge to direct funding towards where it is needed most. Growth Deal funding helps us to deliver on our key priorities of skills, business support, transport, and science and innovation.”