An innovative City Deal that could see a £billion investment in the Greater Cambridge area has been signed by Government, Council leaders, businesses and the University of Cambridge.
The signing is the latest step in securing potentially hundreds of millions of pounds of extra money that will be invested in improving transport and facilitate housing delivery in the Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire area.
The game changing deal was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his budget speech this year and follows intensive negotiation by Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, the University of Cambridge and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership.
The Deal aims to secure hundreds of millions of pounds of additional funding for investment in transport infrastructure to support high quality economic and housing growth over the coming decades. According to local business leaders one of the main barriers to economic success is lack of housing or transport measures.
The first £100m of funding will be made available in the five years from April 2015. Transport improvements as a result of the Deal will start to be seen within the first year of this period.
As long as certain conditions are met, a further £200m will be available from April 2020 onwards and a final £200m from April 2025 onwards.
The £500m of Government money will supplement similar levels of funding from local sources so that around a £billion in total will be spent on supporting the delivery of vital infrastructure necessary to provide good quality and sustainable growth for the area for decades to come.
The deal will accelerate delivery of around 33,000 planned homes and enable the delivery of an extra 1,000 new homes - creating more homes for families across the region and allowing people to live and be more able to afford homes within a reasonable commuting distance.
The deal will also help local young people develop the skills they need to take advantage of these new opportunities: the City Deal will deliver over 400 new Apprenticeships for young people and create new teams to help increase apprenticeships by acting as brokers between training providers and businesses, as well as supporting the guidance that is given in schools and colleges to encourage young people to take up vocational careers.
The partners have come together, crossing political and geographical divides, with Government to deliver this innovative deal to secure the economic success of Cambridgeshire and the communities they serve.
The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister for Cities signed the deal in Cambridge last week.
The signing included the leaders from all three councils (Councillor Steve Count of Cambridgeshire County Council, Councillor Lewis Herbert of Cambridge City Council and Councillor Ray Manning of South Cambridgeshire District Council) and Professor Jeremy Sanders CBE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Affairs (pictured Left with Greg Clark) representing the University. Julian Huppert MP and Andrew Lansley MP also attended.
Greg Clark said: “Cambridge is one of Britain’s most successful cities and the Government is backing that success. The Greater Cambridge City Deal is a massive £1billion boost to the local economy, making sure Cambridge has the transport, housing and skills to continue its phenomenal success.”
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, said: "This is great news for Cambridge. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver housing and transport improvements that will help us to innovate and sustain economic growth, while protecting the features that make Cambridge such an attractive place to work, study and live."
Councillor Steve Count, Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “This is a real game changing deal for Greater Cambridge and the surrounding County. It will see a step change in transport infrastructure, create jobs and boost the local economy. The success of this will also be felt outside the Cambridge area so all our communities benefit.”
Councillor Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said: "We cannot risk transport in Cambridge grinding to a standstill given the damage that would cause to the lives of local people, and to the firms behind our growing local economy. Signing this deal signals our intention as the new administration at the City Council to play our full part in joint work by the three councils to unlock housing, transport and skills investment and improve the quality of life for everyone in and around Cambridge."
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