By the year 2030 more than 40,000 new homes will be built, 22,000 people in new jobs and at least 9,000 more learners qualified across Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and in Milton Keynes.
A report, commissioned by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), has today [13th July, 2021] been published – focused on the economic impact of SEMLEP’s £265million Local Growth Fund (LGF) investment programme.
The multi-million-pound pot of funding, which has funded 55 capital projects across the area between 2015 and 2021 has been used to support business growth and productivity, fund new transport schemes and homes, and generate new jobs and opportunities for students.
In Northamptonshire there is now a new centre for creative industries, a new college campus, digital academy, enterprise centre, aerodynamic research facility and much more.
Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive of SEMLEP, said: “Our Local Growth Fund investment has transformed and continues to transform Northamptonshire and the wider South East Midlands, significantly boosting the economy and creating new jobs, apprenticeships, learning opportunities and commercial floorspace.
“This report demonstrates that with clear strategic direction, vision and collaboration, fantastic results can be achieved.”
Here are just a few examples of Northamptonshire projects:
People and skills: Education and training has been one key focus for the LGF fund, with SEMLEP investing in the construction of Moulton College’s Food and Drink Innovation Centre in Northampton, the relaunch of Tresham College’s Wellingborough campus and several projects at Northampton College – a new campus in Daventry, a new Digital Academy, and a state-of-the-art Advanced Construction Engineering (ACE) Centre at its Booth Lane Campus.
Places and regeneration: The Vulcan Works in Northampton town centre was a largely derelict building, now transformed into a business and learning space for creative industries. During its first 10 years of operation, Vulcan Works is expected to support up to 100 businesses, creating around 300 jobs. Also in Northampton town centre, Smart Commuting. The scheme provides live travel information to help improve journeys along key corridors. The project has installed digital totems, journey time sensors, LEV charging points and more.
Business innovation: In Charwelton near Daventry, Catesby Aerodynamic Research Facility (CARF) is turning a former 1.7 mile railway tunnel into an fully controllable vehicle testing facility. More accurate and efficient than a wind tunnel, the CARF will be the only testing facility of its kind available for hire and is expected to attract interest from across the world, ranging from cycling and motorsport teams to major vehicle manufacturers.
While in Raunds, Northamptonshire, the new Enterprise Centre: East Northants now offers business units of all sizes, to nurture start-ups and business growth. The centre opened mid lockdown, creating more than 60 new jobs and supporting 20 new business start-ups, now an Economic Recovery Hub for North Northamptonshire Council.
Peter Horrocks CBE, Chair of SEMLEP, said: “I am immensely proud of the whole team for the successful delivery of so many outstanding projects. In particular, I want to draw attention to one sentence in the evaluation summary, which I wholeheartedly agree with – ‘Programme management is overwhelmingly seen as extremely strong and an example of best practice. Relationship building and beginning to end involvement is exemplary and considered a key contributor to the success of the programme.’
“Having seen at the board how tightly the team manage the programme and on site how strong relationships are with all partners, I am not surprised by the findings – a real tribute to the whole SEMLEP team.”
Evaluation report highlights:
- At the end of 2020, the new homes and households created as a result of LGF funded projects were generating an annual increase in local spending of around £25million. By 2030 this is likely to be nearer £186million a year.
- At the end of 2020, the annual increase in gross value added (GVA is a measurement of productivity) was around £173million, while in 2030 it is projected to be £656million a year.
- At the end of 2020 more than 5,500 learners had been trained or were mid training. Their increased wages due to new qualifications will result in an estimated £5.9million more being spent locally every year. By 2030 this rises to 9,000 learners and 8.5million local spending every year.
- 484 apprentices had started their placements at the end of 2020, likely to increase productivity in the area by around £3.8million every year. By 2030 this increases to over 1,360 who will have the potential to increase productivity by £9.5million a year.
- Investment in business growth and expansion created increased floorspace to accommodate around 3,500 more employees in 2020. By 2030 this is set to increase to nearly 4,000.
- • £5million of private sector funding was invested in research and development as a result of the LGF projects in 2020, expected to rise to £26million by 2030.
This independent Local Growth Fund Evaluation was commissioned by SEMLEP and conducted by funding experts Focus Consultants, who carried out detailed research over a three-month period earlier this year. The evaluation aims to articulate the impact of the programme and identify areas of learning for future funding delivery.
Hilary added: “Our mission is to build on the South East Midlands’ reputation as a premier location for growth, innovation, creativity, and world-leading technologies, which will result in a doubling of the area’s GVA by 2050. Local Growth Fund investment, which we have been investing across the region since 2015, has played a pivotal role in ensuring we are on track to achieve our ambitious targets.”
For a full list of SEMLEP’s Local Growth Fund projects and to view the Local Growth Fund Evaluation summary and full document, visit: www.semlep.com/local-growth-fund/