Plymouth's £20m 'fighting fund' could create 2,000 new jobs
Cabinet members at Plymouth City Council are set to discuss the launch of a proposed £20 million fund for the city, which is aimed at capital growth support for enterprises to create new jobs.
The authority has pulled together a number of revenue streams to its Building for Jobs investment fund. It has been pulled together by selling city assets, diverting money from other projects, grants and other contributions.
The so-called "fighting fund" forms part of the authority's Plan for Jobs launched last month, which will pull together key projects in the city to create a targeted 2,000 jobs over the next two years.
It's anticipated that the fund will be recommended for approval at a cabinet meeting tomorrow, when it will go on to be considered by full council.
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The fund will be made available to capital investments that will stimulate businesses to launch or expand, through the creation of new workspace or key infrastructure developments to open up existing sites.
It's envisaged that the fund could also be used to help unlock stalled housing development and create jobs within the construction sector and its supply chain.
The Building for Jobs fund will also be used as match-funding to unlock more substantial funds from other sources and to bridge the gap where infrastructure projects are currently stalled.
A spokesperson said the council's Capital Delivery Board will assess proposals and make funding recommendations to cabinet, allowing early-day investments to be made "if necessary."
The council's Capital Strategy Team will manage the fund in its first phase, but a spokesperson said that the authority would be taking steps to ensure that the funding delivery was not "too bureaucratic."
It will draw on outside investment expertise for support through establishing an advisory group, with the added possibility of establishing an arms-length delivery body for the fund at a future date.
Council leader Tudor Evans said: "Time and again people have told us that creating jobs and strengthening our economy is their top priority.
"We want to change our city for the better, but we simply can't just sit back and expect others to do it, we need to be at the heart of this change and this £20 million investment proves we are prepared to do that.
"We launched our Plan for Jobs with the promise to do all we can to prevent unemployment from blighting so many people in this city and we are prepared to prioritise resources into projects that will deliver this.
"This could have a significant impact on our economy. Not only does it strengthen the city's case for external funding, but by taking such a proactive approach, it shows that we mean business."