A deal between the government and South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) which will see nearly £500 million of Government investment into the South East has been officially signed.
The South East Growth Deal, covering Kent, East Sussex, Essex, Medway, Southend and Thurrock, was signed by Transport Minister Baroness Kramer and Peter Jones, Chairman of SE LEP during a visit to the creative industries hub at High House Production Park in Thurrock.
Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015-2021) the SE LEP estimates that up to 45,000 new jobs could be created, 23,000 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £700m of public and private investment.
Baroness Kramer said: "This £500 million investment in the South East will make a phenomenal difference to the whole of the region.
"The government is giving regions the power to make big investments locally to build a stronger economy and a fairer society for all."
Peter Jones, Chairman of SE LEP, said: "The Growth Deal between ourselves and Government is tremendously good news for our businesses and residents. It enables us, and our local partners, to drive forward our shared growth agenda for this part of South East by improving the region’s connectivity, boosting skills and delivering new sustainable communities.
"We have secured investment in our infrastructure, in our further education colleges and wider support for business, to help tackle many longstanding issues facing our local economies.
"We’re now able to channel significant national investment into the projects which are the highest priorities for business success and jobs in the South East."
The South East Growth Deal will bring together local, national and private funding as well as new freedoms and flexibilities. Projects funded by the Growth Deal include:
An expansion of £46.1 million of Government funding was announced on 29 January, on top of £442.2 million when the Growth Deal was originally announced in July.
Growth Deals are 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.