The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed funding allocations for Herefordshire projects which are being supported by the LEP's latest Growth Deal with Government announced today. (THURS)
The New Model in Technology and Engineering university in Hereford has secured at least £8m, with an additional £2.82m going to support the development of a new Centre for Cyber Security in the city, creating 185 jobs.
More than £2.75m will support a Marches wide project, Investing in Our Future Workforce, which will fund capital investment in training facilities, technical equipment and enterprise incubators in a number of local colleges including North Shropshire, Shrewsbury, Derwen, Telford College and Hereford and Ludlow.
The Marches LEP, which includes the local authorities of Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, secured £21.9m in the third round of the Government's Growth Deals.
The Partnership held a Board Meeting on Tuesday and voted through initial project allocations for five projects, which also include one in Telford & Wrekin and one in Shropshire. The allocations are the minimum levels of investment and further funding may still be secured towards the projects in coming months.
Councillor Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “I am delighted that the county’s ambitious plans to continue improving its business and education sectors has been recognised by the government. The substantial investment we will receive will not only deliver a wonderful new university, but will ensure we’re able to grow our own talent right here in Herefordshire.
“We will be able to attract even more new business investment into the county, demonstrating that Herefordshire really is a great place to invest for the future.”
The New Model in Technology and Engineering
will provide a unique and highly innovative, real-world teaching approach where engineering businesses have a central role in curriculum development and teaching.
It will support business innovation and commercialisation through opportunities for greater academic and commercial integration, supporting 230 companies in the first five years and 350 graduates per year.
The Hereford Centre for Cyber Security
will build on investment in the Hereford Enterprise Zone. It will capitalise on local expertise in cyber security including specialist support from the University of Wolverhampton and will collaborate with the new university in Hereford (NMITE) when it is operational. Creating 185 jobs, it will provide ready access to consultancy support and shared facilities significantly enhancing the environment for investment, enterprise, and innovation.
David Sheppard and Karen Usher, NMiTE's co-leaders, said: “The investment announced today will bring about a dramatic change in the way the country deals with its deficit in graduate engineers and it also begins the transformation of Herefordshire’s economy.
“NMiTE will radically change the way engineering is taught in Britain to help tackle the growing shortage of graduate engineers, especially those with the broad range of additional business skills that employers seek.”
Professor Ian Oakes, University of Wolverhampton, which is leading on the Cyber Centre development, said: “The University has already formed strong, collaborative relationships with key companies to engage with cyber research, training programmes and enterprise development and has a number of research teams associated with the development of cyber security.
“Our strategy is to bring together our collective expertise in a centre of excellence with partners both in the UK and internationally.”
Bill Jackson, Chairman of Hereford Enterprise Zone, said the Enterprise Zone was grateful for the substantial investment by the University of Wolverhampton which he said demonstrated their confidence in the Zone’s track record and further ambitions.
“We are delighted with this exciting news ,which reinforces Skylon Park as the only Enterprise Zone in the country focused on the defence and security sector.
“This project will form the centrepiece for our new Cyber Campus encouraging businesses to move to or grow in Hereford taking advantage of the groundbreaking facilities and opportunities that it will offer.”
Ian Peake, Principal of Herefordshire and Ludlow College, said: “The focus of the investment is to improve colleges' information technology infrastructures to ensure we all remain at the cutting edge of digitally-facilitated learning. In addition a business incubator unit will be created at Herefordshire and Ludlow College's Holme Lacy Campus to support new start-ups by recently graduated students.”
Projects in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin being supported include The Newport Innovation & Enterprise Package
and The Shrewsbury Flax Mill Maltings.
The Newport project involves development of a new Enterprise & Science Park with high tech business start-up and incubation space, training and higher level skills development, and collaboration between local businesses and higher education. The package will also kickstart delivery of more than 1,000 essential new houses including starter homes in the Newport area - a key element of the Marches contribution to meeting government housing priorities.
The funding for the Shrewsbury project will support the redevelopment of the historic Main Mill providing training facilities for young people and incubators which will be supported by the University Centre Shrewsbury. The funding will remediate 2 hectares of brownfield land surrounding the historic Flax Mill complex and provide essential infrastructure to unlock the provision of up to 120 new homes by private developers.