South Yorkshire has been designated as the UK’s first Investment Zone, with the potential to create 8,000 new jobs and attract an estimated £1.2 billion in funding. The announcement was made by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who revealed that each of the 12 new UK Investment Zones would receive £80 million of government investment.
The allocated funds can be utilised for infrastructure development, training programs, and tax relief over a span of seven years. South Yorkshire’s Investment Zone has already secured an additional £80 million of private investment, as stated by Chancellor Hunt during the announcement in Sheffield.
The inaugural zone, known as the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone, aims to bring economic opportunities to areas that have historically underperformed. The partnership between Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems, Loop Technology, and the University of Sheffield’s AMRC institute will support the initial investment, which exceeds £80 million.
The creation of Investment Zones was initiated under Liz Truss’s government in September of the previous year, with the initial plan encompassing numerous zones typically clustered around universities. However, under Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, the number of zones was reduced to 12, with eight of them already assigned to English mayoral regions in the north and Midlands.
A spokesperson from HM Treasury emphasised that the Investment Zone designation would improve the region’s ability to attract finance and investment, providing more opportunities for new jobs and increased productivity in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, and Barnsley. The project, co-funded by industry and the government, enjoys support from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and the University of Sheffield, positioning the UK at the forefront of aviation research, development, and manufacturing.
Chancellor Hunt expressed his enthusiasm for the Investment Zone, highlighting its potential to drive economic growth throughout the country. He noted that the zone had already secured over £80 million of private investment, including support from Boeing, and is projected to support more than 8,000 jobs by 2030.
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, hailed the announcement as a significant moment for South Yorkshire, as it will contribute to levelling up the region, generating employment opportunities, and fostering economic growth. Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch commended Boeing and its partners for their investment in the new zone, viewing it as a vote of confidence in the UK’s world-leading aerospace sector.
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