/ News / City Deal to secure growth for a decade

A historic City Deal for Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire will be signed today (Thursday,12 September) securing its position as one of the most important economic centres outside of London and making it one of the fastest-growing areas in the country for the next decade.

The Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire City Deal sets out a detailed plan to support the creation of more than 20,000 new jobs – including 5,000 in the Lancashire Enterprise Zone, 17,420 new homes and nearly £1billion in economic growth over the next 10 years.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, will sign the City Deal in London today (Thursday, 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: “It is superb news for Lancashire that we have successfully reached agreement on the Preston and Lancashire City Deal.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity that will enable Preston, and indeed Lancashire as a whole, to reach its full economic potential.

“The City Deal gives us the certainty to plan for the future. It is on a vast scale and forms the basis for major investment in transport and housing. It complements our existing work to create jobs and apprenticeships and will provide the ideal conditions for companies to invest and create employment.”

Edwin Booth, chairman of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “Reaching this landmark deal is a real demonstration of central government’s confidence in our economic potential.

“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 and will continue to create the prosperity and jobs we need.

“Taken together with other factors such as the new Enterprise Zone and the roll-out of high-speed broadband across the county through Superfast Lancashire, we are entering a very exciting period for the Lancashire economy.”

To deliver the City Deal’s results, its partners in local and central government will establish an Infrastructure Delivery Programme and Investment Fund, with a combined value of £434m.

The £334m Infrastructure Delivery Programme will enable the establishment 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 such ambitious 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: ‘City Deal is the real deal. It means Preston and Lancashire is set for £434m of new investment which will grow the local economy by nearly £1bn over the next ten years. With City Deal we can now fast-track over 25 years of development into fewer than ten!

“Preston has always had the potential, but now it has the chance to become a major engine of economic growth. A bigger, more confident, more dynamic and more prosperous Preston with new jobs, new homes, new roads and new opportunities will all now emerge before the next Preston Guild in 2032. This truly is a marvellous moment for Preston and an historic day for all Prestonians.’

Leader of South Ribble Borough Council, Councillor Margaret Smith, said: ‘South Ribble is a thriving borough at the heart of a prosperous Central Lancashire, and this backing from the Government shows that it is independently recognised as one of the strongest local economies in the country.

‘We are always looking for ways to make South Ribble an even better place to live and do business, and in principle the City Deal will allow us to bring forward lots of initiatives which were already in the pipeline.

‘The deal represents a huge commitment for us, and it has real potential to bring to fruition some major community facilities for our residents alongside the larger infrastructure projects.’

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