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Cash approved for East Mids Development Corporation

Words: Laura Edgar
East Midlands Airport is key to the development corporation plans / Shutterstock_751930345

The government has signed off £2 million in funds to go towards establishing an East Midlands Development Corporation.

Chancellor Philip Hammond first announced the funding at the Conservative Party Conference last year. Since then, business and civic leaders have worked together on an action plan for the development corporation.

A statement from Midlands Connect says the focus will be on maximising and accelerating development opportunities and strategic transport connectivity across the East Midlands, This would involve the HS2 station at Toton, East Midlands Airport, SEGRO Logisitics Park, Chetwynd Barracks and Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, which is due to be decommissioned by 2025.

The development corporation will aim to encourage and bring forward the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs and thousands of new homes on these sites.

James Brokenshire, housing and communities secretary and the ministerial champion for the Midlands Engine, has informed Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace that the money will be released at the end of March.

The economic opportunities presented by the development corporation will now be promoted to investors next week at MIPIM in Cannes.

The first meeting of the interim oversight board, chaired by Peace, included representatives from Midlands Engine, Midlands Connect, D2N2 LEP, East Midlands Chamber, East Midlands Airport, city, county and borough councils from across the region, HS2 Ltd, Highways England, and universities.

It outlined what comes next for the region, including setting out a detailed assessment of the economic value of bringing the development sites together, and how the development corporation can accelerate the creation of new jobs – and increase productivity and housing in the region.

Peace said: “By capitalising on development opportunities focused around improved infrastructure, we have real potential to address barriers to productivity and turn it into economic growth. To achieve that, this development corporation must embrace the support of the private and public sectors to give world-class corporations the confidence to invest in our region.”

Maria Machancoses, director of Midlands Connect, added: “The vision for this development corporation has to be supported with strategic transport connections, particularly by linking the HS2 East Midlands Hub at Toton quickly and efficiently with Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and East Midlands Airport. Midlands Connect is working with East Midlands Councils to develop these transformational plans.”

The interim oversight board will meet again in June 2019.

Image credit | Shutterstock