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Government to unleash £12 billion in 'growth deals' for housing and jobs

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Government to unleash £12 billion in 'growth deals' for housing and jobs

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Finance, Housing

Government to unleash 12 billion in 'growth deals' for housing and jobs Government to unleash 12 billion in 'growth deals' for housing and jobs

Image: Housing via Shutterstock

The government plans to invest at least £12 billion in to the UK's local economies, in a series of 'growth deals'.

Set to be announced by Prime Minister David Cameron and deputy Clegg today, the money will apparently go towards building thousands of homes, supporting businesses to train young people and starting hundreds of infrastructure projects.

The coalition says that its growth deals are a "revolution" in the way the economy is run.

For the first time ever, housing, infrastructure and other funding is being brought together in a single pot, and put directly into the hands of local authorities and businesses to spend the way they know best, the government insists.

It is hoped that projects beginning in 2015 to 2016 will be matched by local investments worth around twice the contribution from central government.

Across the country they are expected to lead to work on more than 150 roads, 150 housing developments and 20 stations.

Some of the major projects that will be built as a result of these deals include:

• £18 million to revamp the Metrolink transport system in Manchester.
• £23 million for a new road tunnel linking Swindon to nearby Wichelstowe.
• Millions of pounds for projects around the country to boost the skills that local businesses say they need.
• The creation of a new national agri-food campus in York.
• Funding for Birmingham to help the city make the most of HS2.
• Support and advice for small and medium sized businesses.

The prime minister said: "Growth Deals are a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain’s future. For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised. Growth Deals will help change all that. They are about firing up our great cities, towns and counties so they can become powerhouses.

"By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new jobs. And that means more economic security, peace of mind and a brighter future for hardworking people across the country."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who chairs the Local Growth Cabinet Committee, added: "We are ending a culture of Whitehall knows best. Decisions over spending on infrastructure, business support and housing are being made at a truly local level. It will help end our over-reliance on the banks and the City of London, and generate growth, jobs, and ambition in towns and cities all across England.

"Growth Deals will create thousands of jobs, provide incredible new training opportunities for young people, build thousands of new homes and improve transport links across the country for people and their families; building a stronger economy and a fairer society.

"We’re placing the power and money in the hands of the people who know how to spend it best, making a real difference to local communities."

Commenting on the deals, Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “The series of growth deals announced today is welcome, as it shows that the government increasingly trusts local people to create local growth.

"The BPF has long extolled the benefits of devolution of funds, believing that it will play an important part in enabling regions outside the capital to flourish under local leadership. Providing capital for infrastructure, new homes and skills is crucial for ensuring long-term economic growth and prosperity across the country, not just in London."

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