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Investment will create thousands of jobs

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has helped direct nearly £145 million of investment into the region in the past ten years, new figures show – and attracted more than £200 million in match funding.

The business-led organisation responsible for driving economic growth across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin says its work will also create 18,230 jobs, support 12,000 learners to develop their skills and see £31 million invested in pioneering innovation projects.

The figures are revealed in new data released by the LEP to mark its tenth anniversary and what it says has been a Decade of Delivery. The LEP is unique in bringing the business sector, public sector and academia together to work in partnership for the good of the region ‘s economy for the first time.

The figures also show that its Marches Growth Hub has helped 52,295 businesses since it was launched in 2015. 

Mandy Thorn MBE, chair of the Marches LEP, said the figures demonstrated the huge impact the partnership has had on the economy of the region – and can continue to have.

“There is not a corner of the Marches region which has not benefitted in some way from the work of the Marches LEP, and these figures show the true scale of the work we have been doing and the way this Decade of Delivery has helped drive our economy.

“By bringing together the private and public sector in a way never done before, we have helped create new prosperity, new opportunities and new skills that simply would not have been possible were it not for the LEP.

“In the ten years since the LEP was established, we have been able to forge a unique triple helix model which fosters highly-effective partnership working between local authorities, industry and academia to stimulate economic development and jobs.

“This model has been instrumental in ground-breaking projects such as the Midlands Centre for Cyber Security in Hereford, the ambitious agri-tech development at Ni.Park in Newport, the planned innovation park at Oswestry and the regeneration of our town and city centres.

“We’ve also played a key role in the scheme to restore the Shrewsbury Flaxmill and Maltings, helped fund the new Marches Centre of Excellence in Health and Social Care in Telford, and helped restore the historic Shell Store in Hereford into a brand-new business incubation centre to name a few.

“And our investment in skills is helping create a new generation with the tools needed to thrive in an increasingly technological age. This is a record of achievement, delivery and success that we can be rightly proud of.”

The new figures reveal that in the last ten years the Marches LEP:

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership says the completion and opening of a state-of-the-art new health centre of excellence in Telford is a shining example of the benefits its Decade of Delivery has produced.

The LEP provided £3.5million of Local Growth Fund investment to the £5million Marches Centre of Excellence for Health and Social Care developed by the University of Wolverhampton at its Priorslee campus in Telford.

The centre uses cutting edge technology, such as immersive reality, to revolutionise the way in which learning is delivered and has developed new courses and content to meet market and sector demands. It will result in 72 new jobs, the development of two new apprenticeship programmes, 174 new apprentices and enrolment of over 1,000 students in the first four years.

Growth fund investment has been matched by £121,316,176 of private and third sector funding, with a further £23,513,260 of match funding realised through the Getting Building Fund and £3,318,993 through the Growing Places initiative. Skylon Park has attracted a further £52 million of match funding.

Growth Fund support has directly helped 11,666 learners upgrade their skills to help make the most of their potential, whilst the Getting Building Fund is projected to help a further 330.

“Every day, in every part of the region, people are going to work in jobs created by the work of the Marches LEP, using skills the partnership has helped develop the training for, living in homes that our investment has helped build and enjoying the benefits of the thriving economy we have helped create,” Mandy said.

“There is so much more we want to do as we begin to recover from the impact of the pandemic and we look forward to being given the opportunity to continue to play a key role in the success of this wonderful region.”