Four new road schemes have been given the go ahead in Preston after a deal was signed between central government and local authorities yesterday (12 September).
The Preston and Lancashire City Deal sets out a detailed plan to support the creation of more than 20,000 new jobs – including 5,000 on the Lancashire Enterprise Zone, 17,420 new homes and nearly £1 billion in economic growth over the next 10 years.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, signed the City Deal in London yesterday (12 September), along with the leader of Lancashire County Council, the deputy leader of Preston City Council, the leader of South Ribble Borough Council and the chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.
The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, the private and public sector partnership that provides strategic leadership for the county’s economy, will be responsible for ensuring that the City Deal is delivered.
County councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity that will enable Preston, and indeed Lancashire as a whole, to reach its full economic potential.
Edwin Booth, chairman of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, added: “The deal enables us to build the infrastructure that Preston needs, which will really take the brakes off economic growth in the city and the surrounding area, to continue to create the prosperity and jobs we need.”
To deliver the City Deal’s outcomes, its partners in local and central government will establish an infrastructure delivery programme and investment fund, with a combined value of £434m.
The £334m programme will enable the delivery of critical infrastructure and allow the full development of significant commercial development and housing schemes. This includes four major highway schemes and the necessary local community infrastructure, such as schools and health facilities, required to support the scale of the development.
The City Deal Investment Fund consists of a £100m local allocation from the Lancashire Pension Fund, which will be co-invested on a commercial basis in housing and development schemes in the City Deal area. The £100m allocation is a new venture for Lancashire Pension Fund.
Councillor Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said: “Preston has always had the potential, but now it has the chance to become a major engine of economic growth.”