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The Preston and Lancashire City Deal is a landmark agreement to achieve a once-in-a-lifetime transformation of the area, creating thousands of new jobs and homes. A total £434m new investment will lead to the expansion and improvement of the transport infrastructure in Preston and South Ribble at an unprecedented rate, enabling a forecast 20,000 new jobs and 17,420 new homes to be created. It will provide a huge boost to the local economy, which is expected to grow by £1 billion over the next ten years.
The central Lancashire area has enjoyed amongst the best rates of new job creation in the United Kingdom over the last decade, with more than 20,000 new jobs created in the private sector. This reflects the area's excellent location, skilled workforce, strengths in training and education, and quality of life. The City Deal is based on the premise that there is great potential for this rate of growth to continue, but only if the core infrastructure is transformed to provide the extra capacity further significant growth would require. Without this infrastructure, growth will be constrained.
Key to the City Deal is more than £340m investment in new transport infrastructure, which will radically improve access by road to Preston and South Ribble from other parts of Lancashire and the UK. There will be major new road schemes to the North, South and West of Preston, including a new junction off the M55 at Bartle, opening up a wealth of new opportunities to create housing and employment.
The City Deal will also see the launch of a new £100m investment fund, created by Lancashire County Pension Fund. This means investments managed on behalf of local government pension scheme members will be made in commercial projects taking place within the City deal area, providing an incentive for commercial developers to deliver housing and other schemes.
The City Deal has been secured following months of intensive negotiations with the government. Preston and Lancashire is the only one of 20 areas invited to express an interest in a City Deal last October that has now secured agreement. This is a fantastic achievement by the partnership behind the proposal and reflects partners' commitment to making Preston and Lancashire are great place to invest, work and live in.
The negotiation of a successful City Deal means that Transport for Lancashire, Lancashire’s transport body, now has much more certainty regarding its allocation of 'local major' transport funding from DfT. Rather that the 4 year allocation it would have received without the City Deal, it now has a 10 year allocation, with a confirmed allocation for 6 years and an indicative allocation for 4 years. This means that TfL will be able to move forward on transport priorities across Lancashire. Without the City Deal, the level of funding available would have been significantly lower.
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