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City Deals

Volume 572: debated on Thursday 12 December 2013

Following the successful completion of the first wave of city deals with the eight largest English cities outside London in July 2012, the Government invited a further 20 cities and their wider areas to negotiate a second wave of city deals in October 2012.

I can announce today that the Government and business and civic leaders in the black country, Coventry and Warwickshire and Norwich have reached agreement on city deals.

The black country city deal will support the growth of the region’s high-value manufacturing sector by bringing into use key industrial development sites across the black country, backed by a black country investment fund of £30 million from local and national sources. Specialist support will be available to businesses in the sector, and at least 1,500 apprenticeships will be created in high-value manufacturing employers. The city deal includes a programme to work intensively with 2,800 long- term unemployed people to move them into employment. The black country local enterprise partnership estimates that the city deal will lead to around £130 million of private investment and create 5,800 new jobs in manufacturing over the next four years.

The Coventry and Warwickshire city deal is targeted at the area’s advanced manufacturing and engineering sector. Specialist support will be available for companies in the sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises, from a single service bringing together organisations such as UK Trade and Investment, chambers of commerce and finance specialists under one roof. New ways to equip the sector with the skills it needs will be trialled including a shared apprenticeship scheme across small engineering businesses below the scale to have an apprentice scheme individually. The city deal will enable the expansion of the automotive test track and research and development facility at Fen End in Warwickshire, supporting the ability of small firms in the automotive sector to innovate. The Coventry and Warwickshire local enterprise partnership estimates that the city deal will lead to around £66 million of private sector investment and over 8,000 jobs in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector.

The Greater Norwich city deal will reinforce the success of the Norwich research park. It makes available business support and early stage finance to commercialise research excellence in life sciences and biotechnology at the Norwich research park, in the digital creative cluster in the city centre and the aviation cluster based around Nonwich international airport. The city deal provides the means for £80 million additional investment in local infrastructure to allow housing growth, including an additional 3,000 homes. A framework will be established to make investment in skills more responsive to the needs of local employers. The new Anglia local enterprise partnership estimates that the city deal will help create 13,000 additional jobs by 2025, support the establishment of 300 new businesses and bringing forward 3,000 additional homes, on top of the 37,000 previously envisaged.