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Cambridge and the surrounding area will be given up to £1 billion to help it become the UK’s Silicon Valley, Nick Clegg said today.
The Greater Cambridge City Deal is expected to unlock £1 billion of investments in transport and housing, making once in a generation changes to boost economic growth across the region. Cambridge is well known for its cluster of high tech firms and world class research facilities and this Deal will build on that to ensure Cambridge continues to be a magnet for tech companies.
The City Deal aims to extend the reach of the famous “Cambridge brand” by bolstering links between the universities and the science and business parks, and generating investment by accelerating transport and housing infrastructure.
The government is giving Cambridge £100 million to invest in infrastructure over the next 5 years. The scheme, called ‘Gain Share’ means that if Cambridge is successful in using this to drive growth in the local area, the government will invest even more money – up to half a billion pounds.
The Deputy Prime Minister visited the city today (3 April) as Cambridge is preparing for the arrival of the Tour de France in July.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
The eyes of the world will be on Cambridge as the Tour de France reaches the city this summer. Cambridge is a key engine of growth which is known across the globe for its world class university and innovative business parks.
This £1 billion City Deal will build on your success to create more jobs for local people and help them gain the skills they need to find work. It will also improve your roads and rail links to encourage more investment to the area and build more homes for families across the region.
It builds the foundations for long term growth in Cambridge for this generation and the next, building a stronger economy and doing it fairly.
Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, said:
This revolutionary City Deal will empower the civic and business leaders of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire to build on the renowned strengths of this city and deliver a serious uplift in its economic growth. This government is resolved to devolve power to our cities and counties on an unprecedented scale. We are making a huge commitment to Cambridge and Cambridgeshire and to ensuring that the local economy here can continue to be one of the big engines of growth of the UK.
The government’s multi-million pound investment will be matched by Greater Cambridge, who will put in £500 million of their own money. To make sure young unemployed people have the skills they need to make the most of these fantastic new opportunities, the City Deal will create new teams to help increase apprenticeships by acting as brokers between training providers and businesses, as well as supporting the guidance that is given in schools and colleges to encourage young people to take up vocational careers.
The Deputy Prime Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December, alongside local council leaders, the University of Cambridge and business leaders showing a joint commitment to delivering an ambitious deal to utilise Cambridge’s strengths and today he is visiting Cambridge again to see how the Deal will boost growth locally. He will visit NAPP Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge Science Park to see how the City Deal will give Cambridge the opportunity to unlock even more success. He will also have a Q&A with around 100 workers to talk about the increase in the personal allowance, the amount working people can earn before they pay any income tax, to £10,000.