A funding project aimed at boosting the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area is on track to unlock £0.5 billion of match funding from an investment of £207.9 million made over the last six years.
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Local Growth Fund programme, which launched in 2015 has now committed all of its funds to 100 key projects across the Greater Birmingham region, including £20 million towards Birmingham City Council’s build of the Alexander Stadium in time for the Commonwealth Games 2022, £6 million towards the new extension to the world prestigious Symphony Hall and £0.5 million towards a new exhibition space at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
The variety of projects, with the overarching aim of driving inclusive economic growth, range from creating commercial space to enabling the growth of low carbon initiatives, investments in skills, health technologies, supporting the creative and cultural sector, building homes and creating better places to live and work in.
The GBSLEP’s allocation of £207.9 million across these 100 projects has so far created 13,000 jobs, helped over 3,000 new learners and enabled 1,500 new homes to be built. The Local Growth Fund will continue to create more benefits as projects reach completion over the next few years.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, the GBSLEP has continued to invest Local Growth Fund money into projects over the last 12 months, helping businesses and communities to continue growing despite difficult circumstances.
Tim Pile, Chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise, said:
"We are proud to have reached this significant milestone and have such strong figures to back up the impact we have made.
“We have listened to our businesses and worked with our partners in local authorities, the private and academic sectors to ensure local insight is used to make sustainable investment decisions. Through our £207.9m Local Growth Fund we have created thousands of jobs and opportunities in our key growth sectors of Low Carbon, Health Technologies, Creative, Professional Services and Advanced Manufacturing. We have also committed millions of pounds to making better places for everyone to work in and to live in. At the heart of all this is our mission to create inclusive economic growth.
“The last 12 months have been incredibly challenging for everyone but we have continued to focus on making a positive impact. As restrictions start to ease, our partners and the businesses we work with are in a strong position to bounce back.
“Thanks to our collaborative approach, we feel that we have been able to target Local Growth Fund investments where it really matters, planting the seeds for a brighter future as well as making an impact for the here and now."
Responding to the Government's vision for a green recovery post-COVID, the Local Growth Fund programme includes a series of low carbon projects. A highways upgrade which has improved access into the UK’s first low and zero carbon refuelling station at Tyseley Energy Park was followed by a £7 million investment to build the Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre on the site - a key low carbon scheme for businesses - and most recently funding was allocated to the Tyseley Incubator for Clean Energy.
Further investments include; £8 million towards the Unlocking Stalled Housing Sites Programme, £1.8 million towards the Redditch Gateway Project and £4.4 million towards delivery of an Advanced Manufacturing Hub in partnership with Birmingham City Council, more than £4.5 million has been allocated towards public space improvements at Snow Hill and £7.9 million towards the Midland Metro extension to Centenary Square in Birmingham City Centre.