An action plan developed to kick-start South Yorkshire’s economic renewal from the coronavirus crisis is seeking government approval.
The plans aim to recalibrate the regions’ trajectory in the wake of the pandemic, with an immediate £1.7bn investment in the region’s people, businesses and places.
They will support over 55,000 training and job opportunities, back 30,000 businesses, create 3,000 apprenticeships, and revitalise South Yorkshire’s towns centres.
The plan will put in place the foundations for the region’s future prosperity – by giving workers and businesses the skills and support they need to thrive after the pandemic.
The Sheffield City Region (SCR) Renewal Action Plan has been developed by Mayor Dan Jarvis and the LEP, alongside the region’s business community, councils, civic leaders, trade unions, universities and voluntary sector.
Its first phase has been put to the Prime Minister and Chancellor by Mayor Jarvis, following the Prime Minister’s speech on Covid-19 recovery and ahead of an economic statement from the Chancellor next week.
The aim of the plan is to support people, businesses and places across South Yorkshire, with the interventions designed to make the region’s economy stronger, fairer and greener.
The first wave of proposals include:
- A ‘South Yorkshire Works’ training and jobs guarantee for people, helping young people and workers secure jobs, apprenticeships and training – equipping them with skills needed to find good work and help companies grow.
- An investment and innovation fund for business – with the SCR Mayoral Combined Authority and LEP providing funding and specialist business support so more businesses survive, adapt and thrive.
- An infrastructure stimulus in places across the region – revitalising and adapting town centres to Covid-19, upgrading transport links, funding projects that provide green growth and jobs through retrofitting, building flood defences and helping business decarbonise, reaching net zero emissions ahead of 2040 targets.
“The investment we are asking for will help not just rescue the South Yorkshire economy but level it up. It will back our people and our entrepreneurs when they need it the most,” said Mr Dan Jarvis.
“It will help create better as well as more jobs, and it will speed up the road to net zero emissions while making our communities stronger. It will help not just South Yorkshire, but the whole country.
“A recovery plan driven from Whitehall will only repeat the mistakes of the past, perpetuating inequalities between London and the regions.
“That’s why I have called for a New Deal for the North – an ambitious programme of investment and devolution in a stronger, fairer, greener future for South Yorkshire and the North.
“This plan is a first step towards that vision and an initial £1.7bn down payment will help lay the foundations for an economy built on high-skilled, high-productivity, high-paid jobs. We must take this opportunity to build back better, so we see not just recovery, but renewal.”
The plan will be put before the Mayoral Combined Authority in full on Monday July 27.