Last week, David Cameron was at the Nottingham Enterprise Zone confirming that the East Midlands economy was already pushing forward.
2015 will be a year of delivery for LEPs. Delivery of our Growth Deal Programme – key infrastructure projects such as the Newark Southern relief road, capital investment in our FE institutions in Chesterfield, Nottingham & Mansfield; Infinity Park, which started on site just before Christmas; the Boots campus and BioCity should all be underway.
Moreover, in the next month or so we hope to receive some further funding for additional infrastructure projects with a new Institute of Manufacturing at Nottingham University topping our priorities, but also we would hope to see development underway at a number of other key development sites across the 2 cities and Counties.
Moreover, our EU Structural Funds should start to be rolled out in 2015, enabling capital and revenue funding to be earmarked for business support, skills and employability, access to finance, innovation and low carbon.
Finally, both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Local Authorities are currently out to local consultation on proposals to create Combined Authorities. If approved by Government, this could pave the way for a D2N2 ‘devolution deal’ that would bring funding and devolved powers closer to local communities.
However, it is in the Nottingham Life Sciences Enterprise Zone and the new Infinity Park Advanced Manufacturing Campus where I hope to see most progress over the next 12 months. These have been challenging projects to bring forward but provide genuinely world class locations and agglomeration for life science and advanced manufacturing, alongside Rolls Royce and Boots no less, which I believe will show a real step change during 2015.
David RalphChief Executive,D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership