Posts tagged Local government
A £59 million Enterprise Zone Fund to help speed up growth and create thousands of new trade jobs has been launched by the Government.
Enterprise Zones across England can now apply for funding to help them ‘turn shovel ready sites into job ready sites’ by completing key infrastructure projects and boosting the trades.
They reflect the Government’s core belief that economic growth and job creation should be led by the private sector. The Zones are focused on removing barriers to private sector growth with lower tax levels for business and a simplified planning regime and a lighter regulatory and administrative burden.
The Fund will help those Zones with real growth potential to put in place the infrastructure required to unlock sites so businesses can set up and take advantage of the offer available in Enterprise Zones, such as business rate discounts, simplified planning and superfast broadband.
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles said: “Economic growth is this government’s biggest priority and Enterprise Zones are the engine room of that strategy. They are a fantastic way to attract the jobs and business investment that local areas need. This new £59 million fund will turbo charge that engine by turning shovel ready sites into job ready sites.
“Enterprise Zones have all the raw ingredients and growth incentives – simplified planning, low tax, super fast broadband and inward investment – they need to translate their potential into jobs and growth success. This is an opportunity to lay the infrastructure foundations so they are ‘gift wrapped’ ready to house new businesses.
“It is time for Enterprise Zones to take up the gauntlet of growth. Local Enterprise Partnerships can do more to make zones realise their potential sooner. The government is determined to work flat out with partnerships to clear any roadblocks in their zone’s path so they can forge ahead and deliver the jobs the country’s economy needs.”
The £59 million fund is part of the Government’s Local Infrastructure Fund of £474 million designed for infrastructure investment to support local economic growth, jobs and homes.
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The Future Homes Commission has set out plans to fund a three-fold increase in the number of new homes being built every year, paving the way for new jobs in the trades.
The Commission, set up by the Royal Institute of British Architects, has called on Government to use council pension pots to fund a massive housing programme that could see the building of 300,000 homes a year and boost the construction industry.
The Homes Commission argues for the creation of a new £10 billion Local Housing Development Fund, financed by the largest Local Authority pension funds, that would use 15% of their assets to invest in new rental and shared ownership housing.
The new scheme would play a lead role for the government to use localassets to lead the creation of sustainable communities and meet local housing needs as well as create thousands of jobs in the building construction industry.
A similar approach to that proposed is being pioneered by Manchester City Council, which is working with the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to build 244 homes.
The city council will release land into the joint venture at fair market valuation and GMPF will inject £25 million to pay for building work.
Both partners will then receive a capital payment on the sale of houses and an annual revenue return.
Nick Clegg has announced plans to give some of England’s biggest cities new powers and extra cash in an attempt to boost employment and restore economic growth, the BBC reported today.
During a visit to Yorkshire, the Deputy Prime Minister revealed the government will transfer more economic controls to local authorities under city schemes which he called ‘groundbreaking deals… freeing cities from Whitehall control’.
Extra powers will be given to the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield as deals for Liverpool and Manchester were already agreed earlier this year.
Deputy Prime Minister Clegg said: “Everyone in these eight core cities will feel the benefits – from young people looking for jobs, to businesses looking to expand.”
Under the current system, councils running England’s major cities have to lobby central governments if they want additional investment to fund major infrastructure projects.
However, under the new city deals, guaranteed funding will be provided for the city authorities to spend as they choose. This is expected to will cut red tape and make it easier for businesses to deliver major development projects in the future.
Hilary Benn, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, said: “Labour strongly supports local communities being given more powers – indeed I have been calling for this for some time.
“These city deals represent an important victory for local people and local government. And many people think that local government will do a better job at looking after their local economies and boosting skills than the Tory-led government is doing nationally.”
If you live in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham or Sheffield, how do you think the new deals could help you/ your business? Share your thoughts by commenting here or raining your voice on our Facebook page.
Stockton Council is planning to build a new state-of-the-art library and customer service centre to match similar complexes in surrounding areas of Stockton and Thornaby.
The project is one of the largest improvement schemes among other construction projects in town. It brings the council’s investment in the area to more than £23 million in recent years with significant numbers of redevelopment projects and affordable housing schemes.
Stockton Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and transport, Councillor Mike Smith, welcomed the decision of the council to build new facilities in town which will boost the local economy and create new jobs whilst offering a good service.
Mr Smith said: “This is tremendous news for Billingham and honours the council’s commitment to create such a facility in the town.
“The service centres have been hugely successful and popular elsewhere in the borough and also help attract many people to go into the town centres.” added Councillor Smith.
Recent investments in building and construction projects have been crucial measures for the government to secure economic growth and create new jobs.
What is your opinion to the decision of Stockton Council to build a new £2.5 million library? Do you think it will boost the local economy and create new jobs? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below: