Investment ambitions are discussed with David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

First published in News Malvern Gazette: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

BOSSES behind a £250 million investment blueprint for Worcestershire have held crunch talks with David Cameron - in the hope the Government will look upon the ambitious plan favourably.

Peter Pawsey, chairman of Worcestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership, travelled to Manchester last week for a sit-down chat with the Prime Minister over the county's ambitions.

He says the talks, which were "very positive", have given them hope Worcestershire will not be ignored once the first major announcement is made in July.

As your Worcester News revealed last week, the Government is making £2 billion a year available from next April for LEPs that can produce ideas for growth.

A 180-page dossier has now been produced by this county's LEP including 'asks' like £63 million to dual Worcester's Carrington Bridge, £4 million on flooding protection, £14 million for improving careers services, a new pedestrian crossing in Worcester by Gheluvelt Park and funding towards Worcestershire Parkway.

The country's 39 LEPs are all making separate bids to the fund.

Mr Pawsey said: "It was a very positive meeting and we had a fair bit to say to David Cameron.

"He listened to what we were telling him, he wanted to know what the frustrations were and it was very constructive.

"One thing we got out of it was that the total amount of money the LEPs are asking for is over-subscribed by three times (£6 billion worth of requests), but I was not surprised at all.

"In some ways I was expecting it to be a lot worse. The Government is now starting to go through them and they'll be having fortnightly reviews until we get to July.

"We live in hope - he also indicated that all LEPs will get something, the question is just how much."

A contribution to the £6 million needed to reconfigure the Junction 6 exit of the M5 in Worcester so it gets less congested at peak times is also part of the proposals.

Pershore College could also get £4 million to turn it into a national centre of excellence for rural innovation.

It was put together after input from more than 150 organisations as well as all of Worcestershire's councils and MPs.

The Government has indicated that £2 billion will be dished out every year until 2020/21, going directly to LEPs based on their 10-year blueprints.

Worcestershire’s document details how it will create 25,000 new jobs over that period, boosting the economy by nearly £2.9 billion of extra economic activity a year

Comments (2)

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8:30pm Wed 9 Apr 14

brooksider says...

Why is the Worcestershire LEP Chairman speaking to the Prime Minister about funding for a pedestrian crossing in Barbourne?

One would have thought Barbourne Road is well blessed with pedestrian crossings and the lack of one outside Gheluvelt Park, although a nuisance, is not an obstacle to employment.
Why is the Worcestershire LEP Chairman speaking to the Prime Minister about funding for a pedestrian crossing in Barbourne? One would have thought Barbourne Road is well blessed with pedestrian crossings and the lack of one outside Gheluvelt Park, although a nuisance, is not an obstacle to employment. brooksider
  • Score: 1

6:55am Thu 10 Apr 14

rackedoff says...

Chairman of the Worcestetshire LEP meeting the PM -so how do we vote ffor this Peter Pawsey for it sounds like he should be leading our County Council.
Chairman of the Worcestetshire LEP meeting the PM -so how do we vote ffor this Peter Pawsey for it sounds like he should be leading our County Council. rackedoff
  • Score: 0

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