The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced a £120 million infrastructure investment planning to bring jobs and businesses to the Sheffield area.
The Sheffield Enterprise Zone will turn £25 million of government funding into £94 million more of private sector investment so they can lay down the infrastructure needed for its premier sites at Markham Vale and Rotherham to attract new businesses to the area.
A part of the government money, around £14million, will transform the site at Markham Vale, where 3 coal pits previously stood. The enterprise zone can now expand its business park plans by 81 acres, widen Erin Road, put in place utility infrastructure and construct 100,000 square feet of new industrial buildings. When complete the site will have capacity to bring an estimated 2,100 jobs by 2022.
£11 million of the plan will be used to expand Rotherham’s advanced manufacturing hub by building essential infrastructure foundations for Harworth Estates’ 740 acre Waverley regeneration scheme. This would be Yorkshire’s largest ever brownfield redevelopment. Already home to world class manufacturers like Boeing and Rolls-Royce, the Advanced Manufacturing Park will eventually employ 3,500 workers, with 300 of those new jobs expected onsite by 2015.
Eric Pickles said, “This enterprise zone is a great example of how our economic plan is rebalancing the economy and transforming once dormant industrial sites into job creators once again. Today’s cash injection will help the enterprise zone pull in over 3 times as much in private sector investment, giving it the essential foundations to grow, create jobs for local people and continue the area’s proud manufacturing tradition.”
This is part of the promised £36 billion of public and private investment that could support over 150,000 jobs in construction this year and many thousands more in other sectors following completion. It includes more than 200 projects in rail, road, local transport, flood defences, broadband, airport infrastructure and waste management, which are due to start construction in 2014 to 2015.
More specifically it includes the Mersey Gateway Bridge, Exeter flood defence schemes and the A1 Barton to Leeming motorway upgrade, which will reduce journey times by 20 per cent.
Alasdair Reisner, chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said that renewing the country’s infrastructure could add up to 5 percent to the GDP.
“We believe that effective infrastructure is the cornerstone of a thriving economy. Our research indicates that every job created maintaining and improving our transport and utility networks supports a total of three new jobs across the economy as a whole,” he said.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said, “As part of our long term economic plan we are investing in infrastructure around the country to create a more balanced, resilient economy. Because of the tough decisions we have taken in day to day spending, we can prioritise public investment where it is most needed and create the right conditions for private investment in infrastructure where it brings value for the taxpayer.”
The projects due to start construction this year are part of £36 billion of planned investment, which will be split into sectors. £5 billion public investment, £21 billion private investment and £10 billion in joint public and private investment. The creation of this new infrastructure across the country could support over 150,000 jobs in construction and many thousands more in other sectors following completion. This includes the start of a £38 billion programme of rail spending over the next 5 years.
In addition, there is expected to be further investment of up to £15 billion in oil and gas this year.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said, “ensuring Britain has first class infrastructure is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan, supporting business, creating jobs and providing a better future for hardworking people. As a crucial part of our long-term economic plan, this government is backing business with better infrastructure so that more jobs and opportunities are created for hardworking people, meaning more financial security and peace of mind for families.”
What other areas of the countries infrastructure do you believe need investment and why do you believe this is the case?