City Deals for Key Cities Members Brighton, Southend and Stoke

A deal for Key City members Brighton & Hove City Council and adjacent council areas, a package for Southend-on-Sea BC and a joint deal for Staffordshire CC and Stoke-on-Trent City Council have been announced by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

They join a recent deal for Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside MBC.

Staffordshire and Stoke

The Staffordshire and Stoke deal involves councils under differing political control. The area will receive £30.9m from the government, which combined with planned private sector investment could see more than £113m invested in the local economy to create more than 20,000 jobs over 10 years.

The deal is built around proposals to supply locally produced, sustainable energy to large businesses.The Stoke-on-Trent District Heat Network will use deep geothermal heat energy to produce up to 45 GWh a year, save 10,000 tonnes of CO2 a year and lower energy costs by up to 10%. Other plans include better skills training, the creation of apprenticeships and traineeships and the development of sites for new business or the expansion of existing business.

Stoke leader Mohammed Pervez (Lab) said: “Our city’s bold plans will build on our growing reputation for knowledge-based commercial enterprise to transform the city into one of the UK’s most important hubs for renewable energy research and manufacturing.”

Staffordshire leader Philip Atkins (Con) said: “This groundbreaking deal will unlock our potential and accelerate our work to create a connected county and the right conditions for business to thrive.”

Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove’s city deal has as its flagship a £4.9m investment to expand and upgrade the city’s hi-tech cluster at New England House to create nearly 900 new jobs. There will also be a new Central Research Laboratory at Preston Barracks to support start-up businesses linked to university research, which will create 740 new jobs, and new environmental technology centres at Newhaven and Shoreham, creating 6,700 jobs in those areas behind new flood defences.

Leader Jason Kitcat (Green) said: “We welcome the government’s willingness to devolve powers and funding to city regions. As a result we’ve developed a deal which shows how the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.”

The deal also includes the nearby council areas of Worthing BC, Mid-Sussex DC, Lewes DC and Adur DC.

Southend-on-Sea

At Southend-on-Sea more than £6m of investment will redevelop deprived areas to create a hub for innovation through an incubator system of intensive one-on-one support. This will help at least 375 businesses improve performance and will create or safeguard 555 jobs. The deal will also redevelop deprived areas around the town’s centre.

The first wave of city deals was agreed in September 2012 and the following month ministers invited 20 other areas to bid for a second wave of deals, which will see the government devolve powers in exchange for councils undertaking to deliver economic growth.

Discussions in Whitehall are thought to have delayed the newer city deals. The Staffordshire and Stoke deal will go some way to allay concerns in rural areas that they were losing out to urban ones in the support available through the deals.