Greg Clark, the Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, visited Westcott today to sign Growth Deals totalling nearly £200 million.
The minister signed the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Growth Deal, which includes £73 million of government investment in to the region, creating at least 3,000 jobs by 2021. The deal has been agreed with the minister, and key business, civic and academic leaders.
The cash will go towards a number of schemes, including the Aylesbury eastern link road, East West Rail link, which will pass through Winslow and a 5G testbed to stimulate growth in the Buckinghamshireelectronics and telecomunications industry.
The visit was also an opportunity for the minister to see the work taking place at Westcott Venture Park in the area of space propulsion and he experienced a live demonstration of rocket propulsion from Airborne Engineering.
Mr Clark said: “The growth deals I have signed today will pass more power from Whitehall back into the hands of the people who know these local areas best.
“By devolving powers in areas such as housing and infrastructure, we are allowing local people to shape their development and become the architects of their own growth.
“The potential in Buckinghamshire and the South East Midlands is tremendous and the deals which were signed today worth nearly £2m will create 6,000 jobs, improve infrastructure and support businesses to grow and prosper.”
The development of Westcott Venture Park as a major space production hub was highlighted in BTVLEP’s Buckinghamshire and Thames Valley Strategic Economic Plan in March 2014. In addition, Moog is in a unique position as UK’s premier manufacturer of rockets and thrusters for space applications and the Westcott site has heritage in rocketry since 1946.
Mr Clark then travelled to the Transport Catapult in Milton Keynes where he signed the South East Midlands Growth Deal, which will see £119 million investment in new homes and employment sites, creating an expected 3,000 jobs.
The Buckinghamshire growth deal will bring together local, national and private funding as well as
new freedoms and flexibilities to focus on five key priority areas as identified in the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan.
Growth deals are part of a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are the latest and greatest example of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country. Local businesses and council leaders have been invited to open discussions immediately on the next set of projects to be funded, building on the momentum that has been established.