THE latest update from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership has revealed that £162m of Government funding has been invested in 14 Growth Deal projects.
The investment generated an additional £312m public and private investment.
The LEP says Growth Deal projects will create at least 5,000 new jobs and 1,400 new homes.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced the Black Country Growth Deal on 7 July 2014.
Some £24m is on course to be spent across the projects in this financial year. They include: Goscote Lane Corridor housing development of 741 homes on three related vacant brown field sites in the Blakenall area of Walsall, totalling 21 hectares.
The work will be accompanied by environmental and infrastructure improvements to adjacent public open space as well as delivering employment and training opportunities for local people.
The first phase of the Wolverhampton Interchange project, which includes the city’s new bus station serving local, regional and national operators, improved access to the railway station and 20,000 sq ft of retail and leisure development was completed in 2012.
The next phase will take these improvements a step further by linking rail, road, tram, pedestrians and cyclists to deliver a fully integrated transport hub.
The Growing Priority Sectors Fund for 2015/18 is now open for business. The fund has £6m available to invest in Black Country businesses that are looking to expand and create new jobs.
Over the next three years the programme is looking to support more than 30 businesses, attract in £17m of private sector investment and create 600 jobs. The fund is available for businesses of all sizes with growth projects that cannot find adequate finance from elsewhere.
Grants range from £100,000 to a maximum of £1m and are available for capital investment in plant, machinery and property.
Stewart Towe, Black Country LEP chair said: “It’s time to celebrate the Black Country LEP’s Growth Deal projects becoming shovel ready.
“This follows a year of hard work to develop robust projects by the LEP board and all our project partners from local authorities to universities, colleges and local training companies.
“The scale of our Growth Deal, with £162m Government funding leveraging nearly £500m total investment until 2021 is a vote of confidence in the Black Country’s dynamic economic future.”
Greg Clark, communities secretary, said: “Here in the Black Country we’ve allocated £162m of Growth Deal funding for projects identified by the local LEP and its partners.
“I am delighted to see the fantastic progress already being made, with many of the projects supported building on the Black Country’s proud manufacturing tradition.”