Lord Heseltine signs £221.5m growth deal bringing new jobs and homes to county
Former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine has signed a £221.5 million Growth Deal for Herts which will deliver thousands of new homes and jobs.
The funding has been secured by the county’s Local Enterprise Partnership to support business growth and improve the skills of the workforce in Herts.
A pot of £199.2 million for the area was agreed last year with a further £22.3 million secured in 2015, on top of an additional £19.6 million of discounted borrowing to support Hemel Hempstead’s regeneration.
The deal, which runs from this year until 2021, is expected to create up to 15,000 new jobs and lead to the building of 20,000 new homes, as well as potentially unlock £430million in public and private investment.
Hertfordshire LEP chairman John Gourd said: “The signing marks the start of a very exciting period as we prepare to deliver on the projects outlined in the Growth Deal.
“Last year marked our most successful year to date as we secured the fifth highest settlement per head out of the 39 LEPs in the country.
“Thanks to our targeted and achievable strategic economic plan we went on to secure substantial further funding this year.
“Now it is time to bring home the benefits of this investment to those who live, work and do business in Hertfordshire.”
Part of the cash sum will be used to help fund the regeneration of West Herts College’s Dacorum campus.
The signing ceremony took place yesterday as part of the LEP Network Conference in Westminster, involving government ministers, shadow ministers and informed business leaders.
Guest speaker MP Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, said: “Devolving £12billion through Growth Deals to LEPs is part of our long term plan to give local economies the flexibilities and resources to maximise their economic growth.
“As a result of the Growth Deals, across the country investment had been made to train young people, create thousands of new jobs, build thousands of new homes and start hundreds of infrastructure projects.”
Other key speakers included the Ed Balls MP discussing LEPs’ driving economic growth and the Lord Heseltine on LEP delivery.