Four projects, involved in the space industry, food sector, and the development of HS2, will form the new and innovative East Midlands Manufacturing Zones, Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP announces today.
Melton Mowbray, Space Park Leicester, and areas across North Derbyshire and Greater Lincolnshire will together benefit from a total of £500,000 funding to develop their plans.
The investment builds on existing strengths in space, food and advanced manufacturing across the region, helping these important sectors to flourish and boost economic growth and jobs in the Midlands Engine.
The East Midlands Manufacturing Zones aim to reduce planning restrictions to allow land to be used more productively and provide certainty for business investment.
The announcement comes as the Secretary of State, who is also the Government’s Midlands Engine Champion, visits organisations across the East Midlands today to hear how they are contributing to a thriving region at the heart of the UK’s economic success.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire said: “Manufacturing, innovation and trade are at the heart of the East Midlands economy, so it is the perfect place for the UK’s first Manufacturing Zones.
“This is another example of how the Government’s is delivering for the Midlands with our modern Industrial Strategy backing local businesses and building on local strengths.”
The Government’s Midlands Engine strategy is supporting the East Midlands to realise its huge potential. Initiatives including over £1.9 billion of funding from the Local Growth Fund and an investment of £20 million in the Midlands Skills Challenge to boost people’s employment prospects are enabling businesses to create more jobs, export more goods and services and grow their productivity. Since 2010 unemployment has fallen 38% and there are 64,500 more small businesses.
The East Midlands has also received sustained investment in recent years, including more than £400 million for the strategic road network, more than £60 million to tackle congestion and improve local transport, and £10 million for the brand-new Ilkeston Station.
The Secretary of State is making the announcement in the East Midlands today with visits to Derby City Council’s rough sleeping accommodation, the East Midlands Airport, Norton Motorcycles and the National Space Centre.