A breakfast meeting on what the ‘Midlands Engine’ means for East Midlands’ businesses was held today (October 27), with D2N2 Chief Executive David Ralph one of the key speakers.
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) breakfast meeting at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Pegasus Business Park, East Midlands Airport (pictured), featured keynote speakers including Andy Warrington, Associate Director at engineering and project management consultancy Atkins, and Mr Ralph.
D2N2 – the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – is a private-sector led partnership of businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers, and community organisations. It works to promote economic growth across its area, with an over-arching aim of helping create 55,000 private sector jobs by 2023.
Mr Ralph talked about the LEP’s achievements over its five years of operation; notably helping to create 103,000 jobs and securing £4billion of investment nationally.
This is alongside:
- The creation of the Nottingham Enterprise Zone, which has recently been extended to Derby,
- £25 Million for its Growing Places Fund (GPF), a loans scheme providing vital bridge funding to kick-start stalled development projects.
- Opening up Assisted Area status to more places within the D2N2 area, giving businesses there a higher level of support with grant and loan funding.
- A £192million Growth Deal, to deliver more than 30 capital investment projects, including Buxton Crescent and Drakelow Park
- A European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) allocation of €250million, to be spent in the D2N2 area over six years on projects to address a range of business and other issues.
Another hot topic at this morning’s event was Devolution, which is the process of transferring powers from central Government to regional and local authorities.
D2N2 is a firm believer that Devolution could have profound positive effects for the local economy. Last week, D2N2 Chairman Peter Richardson attended the launch of the Midlands Connect Partnership in Derby; a cross-region partnership of businesses, local authorities and other organisations intent on creating an integrated Midlands transport infrastructure, to support the ‘Midlands Engine for Growth’.
On Devolution Mr Ralph said: “Devolution is about jobs, productivity and skills. It could also be an opportunity for public sector reform but it is important to note that Devolution is only part of the solution.”