Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
PLYMOUTH GIVEN GO-AHEAD FOR FAST-TRACK CITY DEAL
Plymouth is set to be given new powers and freedoms to help grow the regional economy after successfully bidding for a Government City Deal.
Plymouth City Council joined forces with local authorities and business organisations from across the South West to bid to be one of the second wave Government City Deal areas.
The Government has announced that Plymouth is one of the City Deals that will be fast-tracked for early agreement after it submitted an Expression of Interest to the Government in January.
City Deals aim to act as a catalyst for economic growth in urban areas, with a particular focus on reducing dependency on the public sector and giving more responsibilities for some aspects of policy and funding to local areas.
Plymouth’s City Deal aims develop the region’s maritime assets and capabilities by creating an industry cluster of advanced engineering and design and creating jobs through the commercial application of marine sciences, marine renewable energy and maritime technologies.
The Plymouth City Deal will:
- Support the fledgling marine science businesses by bringing together the knowledge, research and development facilities to enable them to develop and commercialise ideas, as well as access EU business growth programmes.
- Use the potential to free up surplus MoD land such as South Yard in Devonport to create a marine technology production campus to enable marine related firms to link ideas, research, development and testing and have access to large scale industrial production.
- Develop an international investment and export pilot with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to prepare and connect businesses with export markets.
Although the deal is a City Deal, the aim is to extend the benefits to a wider area. The Plymouth City Deal proposal is supported by the Heart of the South West Local Economic Partnership, Plymouth University, Devon Country Council, Cornwall Council, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Economic Partnership, West Devon Borough Council, South Hams District Council, Torbay Council, City College, Plymouth, South West Marine Energy Park (SWMEP), Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Babcock, Princess Yachts and Plymouth Marine Laboratories.
Plymouth is at the heart of an economic area that extends from South East Cornwall through West Devon and the South Hams, up the A38 corridor. However, the focus on marine science, clusters of marine and manufacturing business research and development will be able to benefit areas such as North Devon, Torbay and Falmouth/Hayle.
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: "This City Deal is about capitalising on what we are good at and unleashing the enormous potential of the marine science sector in Plymouth and the South West peninsula a whole. It’s about working together and creating the right conditions that enable marine businesses to flourish. One way of doing this is to maximise the potential of sites such as South Yard for use by developing marine industries.
"Our joint plans are all the stronger for being backed by key partners across the region. It has involved an unprecedented amount of work with partners across the peninsula for mutual benefit. We now intend to build these relationships to ensure that we become an economic force to be reckoned with.
"I would like to thank our colleagues from Devon and Cornwall councils, business and the local economic partnerships for their level of support so far and I looked forward to working with them on negotiating our City Deal."
Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor of Plymouth University, added: "The announcement that Plymouth is to be fast-tracked for City Deal approval is a significant step forward for our city and wider region. The deal places the University’s world-class marine and maritime expertise – focused around our cutting edge Marine Building and new facilities – at the heart of a knowledge-rich, research-intensive economic cluster. The City Deal draws on our established Marine Institute and the University's Growth Acceleration and Investment Network 'GAIN' that's driving enterprise across Cornwall and Devon.
"It once again demonstrates the value of partnership, and we look forward to working with all of the stakeholders to realise the vision of a connected and thriving Marine City with Plymouth as a regional hub of excellence."
Plymouth now has nine months to further develop its plans and agree a City Deal.
19 February 2013