2. What powers might be devolved to Plymouth as part of his city deals scheme. (901055)
Negotiations to conclude the Plymouth city deal continue to progress well. The proposals seek to bring into use new employment space for Plymouth’s growing marine sector, to deliver tailored business support to small businesses and to get young people into the jobs that will result. Negotiations are at an advanced stage, and I am hopeful that we will be able to agree this important city deal in the near future.
Is my right hon. Friend also aware that in awarding Plymouth city deal status, along with £10 million to decontaminate part of the South Yard in the Devonport dockyard, the Government will not only be helping to create a marine energy park but in turn be helping to deliver 10,000 new jobs?
My hon. Friend is right, and he has been a formidable champion for the proposed city deal. All the members of the LEP and the local authorities, including across the Tamar in Cornwall, came to make an impressive pitch on 31 October, and my hon. Friend has been to see me. It is an exciting proposal that builds on the strengths that we know exist in Plymouth and the whole of the south-west peninsula to serve a globally growing sector of marine engineering. I certainly wish it well, and I hope that we will have good news before very long.