Preston councillors are heading for Downing Street today to sign a multi-million pound deal for Preston, South Ribble and the Central Lancashire region.Advertisement
Branded the City Deals, money will be pumped into massive infrastructure projects in the region and specifically focused at getting Preston growing.
The Preston bid is expected to create 23,000 new jobs, 15,000 new homes and £1 billion in economic growth in the next 10 years. The total funds available for the projects will be £434m.
Preston’s MP Mark Hendrick tweeted:
@pcc_leader Big day for Preston today in Downing St.Since Preston became City it’s ambition has been thwarted. Now the signing of #CityDeal!
— Mark Hendrick (@MpHendrick) September 12, 2013
Council leader Peter Rankin wrote on Blog Preston last year what the CityDeal’s meant and why the council was bidding for it.
The deal has been hailed as a “once in a generation opportunity” by Lancashire County Council.
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 c! ompanies to invest and create employment.”
Meanwhile leader of Preston City Council, Peter Rankin, says it is a “real deal”.
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 bec! ome 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.”
The deal is expected to be signed at 3pm on Thursday in London by Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, and Greg Clark, minister for cities.
Edwin Booth, chairman of the 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.”