Strategic Economic Plan

Neil Darwin and Adrian Cannard with the Strategic Economic Plan

What is a Growth Deal?

Growth Deals provide capital funding to LEPs to help overcome strategic barriers to growth, from roads improvements and incubator space through to skills facilities and space for innovation.

In 2013, Government asked LEPs to negotiate a ‘Growth Deal’ with them to drive forward economic growth in their areas, having set aside £2bn a year for six years from 2015/16 to 2020/21 in a Local Growth Fund. To guide these negotiations Government asked each LEP to express its offer through a Strategic Economic Plan. You can view a copy the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan here.

The Local Growth Fund brings together resources to deliver housing and skills, and includes funding for major transport infrastructure. Government expects GCGP to reflect these themes strongly, but not exclusively, in our plans. Working with businesses, local authorities and other partners we have identified:

  • Short term interventions that can draw down funding in 2015/16 and deliver outcomes that financial year
  • Medium term interventions for delivery over the period 2015 to 2021
  • Longer term interventions (delivery post 2021) that require preparation work now.

We therefore worked closely with a wide range of partners to create a robust plan for the future. The resulting document is known as our Strategic Economic Plan here and you can download a copy of the Delivery Plan here. You can also access a copy of the Strategic Economic Plan Executive Summary here.

How did we develop it?

Updating the Strategic Economic Plan for the LEP area is the primary focus for Strategy & Planning Director, Adrian Cannard, supported by the wider LEP team and other key partners. By having a clear vision and shared sense of purpose with our partners to unlock the potential economic growth within our area, we can target our efforts at projects that will deliver maximum returns.

We have utilised evidence already gathered by previous studies and research, and coupled it with the feedback we have received to date from local businesses to create our economic strategy and investment plan. Throughout the process we have worked with partners and experts to focus on:

  • Identifying our key economic priorities and actions that will unlock our growth potential
  • Pinpointing opportunities for economic growth
  • Ascertaining the barriers to economic growth and ways of tackling them
  • Identifying the priority actions, projects and investments that will unlock growth
  • Campaign on major issues, actions and investments that will unlock our growth potential.

The LEP Growth Deal forms just part of our Economic Vision for the LEP area. We are working hard to draw in other sources of funding to support the growth of our local economy from the public and private sector, including ensuring we maximise the distribution of European Structural and Investment Funds across the GCGP area.

Growth Deal Rounds One and Two

Our Strategic Economic Plan was originally submitted to Government on 31st March 2014, with the Growth Deal Round One announcement made in July 2014 and Round Two announced in January 2015.

To date, the LEP has secured over £110 million to invest in a range of projects that will enable the growth of our local area. Growth Deal Round One projects include:

  • Cambridge Biomedical Innovation Centre
  • Haverhill Innovation Centre
  • New facilities for The Welding Institute (TWI)
  • Food Manufacturing and Processing Centre of Excellence at Peterborough Regional College
  • Technical & Vocational Centre at Alconbury Weald Enterprise Campus
  • Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative
  • Bourges Boulevard upgrade, Peterborough
  • A47 Junction 20 improvements, Peterborough
  • King’s Dyke level crossing, near Whittlesey
  • Wisbech Access Study
  • Signpost 2 Grow

Growth Deal Round Two projects will generate 15,500 new jobs and allow 10,000 new homes to be built across the LEP area and include:

Neil Darwin and Mark Reeve

Neil Darwin and Mark Reeve in Ely

  • Ely Southern Bypass: Construction of much needed bypass, building 1.7km of road that will connect the A142 to the Stuntney Causeway, relieving congestion in the city
  • Growing Places Fund: A £16.6 million boost to the LEP’s successful Growing Places Fund scheme that provides affordable loan funding to overcome key barriers to growth (known as Signpost 2 Loans)
  • Institute of Advanced Construction and a Highways & Civil Engineering Academy: Creation of a new national centre for higher level construction skills, and a local Highways & Civil Engineering centre to provide skilled labour for the many key transport schemes planned over the coming years
  • M11 Junction 8 upgrade: Development work to upgrade the busy M11 Junction 8 interchange located near Stansted Airport
Growth Deal Round Three

In July 2016, the LEP submitted a bid for an additional £70.5 million under Growth Deal Round Three. The funding will be used to support a range of projects in the local area, including new skills facilities and infrastructure improvements, and will see the creation of 10,000 new jobs and building of 2,700 new homes.

The Growth Deal Round Three is a capital investment pot for 2017-2021, with a heavy focus in the final year of the funding cycle. The funding request is for a Programme Funding allocation, which means that we will not be making decisions on individual projects until the scale of our allocation has been agreed by Government.

On 2nd February 2017, Government announced that the GCGP area had secured £37.6 million of Growth Deal Funding via the Third Round to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth. The funding has been provided as programme based funding, rather than specific project based funding, which means we are continuing to work on specific proposals with partners, and on the investment pipeline for the proposed Combined Authority.

Key downloads