a) A report on the Gloucestershire Growth Deal Programme, including the progress of some of the Growth Deal funded projects, and
b) An update on the Local Industrial Strategy for Gloucestershire
Dev Chakraborty (Deputy Chief Executive of GFirst LEP) gave an update on the Gloucestershire Growth Deal Programme, including the progress of some of the Growth Deal funded projects and an update on the Local Industrial Strategy for Gloucestershire. Attached to the report were the most up to date spreadsheets for the Growth Deal Programme (reporting for the period up to 30 September 2018).
The documents can be viewed on the GFirst website at the following link: http://www.gfirstlep.com/projects/
It was noted that, in terms of the Growth Deal, there had been no significant change since the report presented at the previous meeting, (5 September 2018).
To date, the LEP had ‘out turned’ £56.2m from a total of £101.7m. Actual spend was £52m. Recent highlights included confirmation of a £27m investment in the Merrywalks re-development; planning approval for a second phase of student accommodation at the Blackfriars site (providing a further 190 student units) and confirmation of the Skyborne commercial pilot training centre at Gloucestershire Airport.
The Gloucester Transport Hub had fully opened; the funding agreement for the Cheltenham Spa Railway Station Scheme was signed and scheme design approved; the GlosCol Cinderford Campus was fully opened and the Hartpury University Agri-Tech Hub (Tech to Plate) had been approved for funding, with the agreement due in December.
Reporting on the Gloucestershire Inward Investment Bid (a joint bid between Gloucestershire County Council and the district councils) the Deputy Chief Executive advised the committee that recruitment advertisements for three new posts had been advertised for commencement in January 2019. The deadline for submitting applications for the posts was 22 November 2019. District council colleagues had been asked to participate on the interview panels.
The GFirst LEP Annual Review was held at Hartpury College on 14 November 2018. Three key requests were made during the review. They included; requests for volunteers to work with schools across the County; requests to join one of the GFirst sector specific business groups and volunteers; and requests to engage with the LEP on the development of the Local Industrial Strategy for Gloucestershire. Approximately 60 people had pledged their services.
Included in the LEP Review had been consideration of the Government LEP Boundary Review. The Gloucestershire LEP has stated a preference to remain in the current geographical position. Completion date for the boundary review would be March 2020.
The committee noted several pieces of work for which members were asked to share news of the publications with district council colleagues. One piece of work was to consider the Local Transport Plan, for which members were asked to encourage district colleagues to submit views. In addition, it was suggested the district authorities consider making a submission to the Local Industrial Strategy.
Government funding for a new government position, ‘Senior Research Manager’ was noted. Again, members were encouraged to share this information with district colleagues.
Outlining the anticipated timelines for some of the pieces of work, the Deputy Chief Executive suggested members maintain a watch and brief to keep themselves informed of current activities. He also suggested district authorities identify priority issues and considerations.
The committee requested a detailed update on progress of some of the activities at the next meeting.