The 3SC devolution bid is made up of a number of interconnected proposals which, by enabling more local decision making, would help drive the economy forward, while also making the area a better place to live, work and visit.
While the 3SC area is largely prosperous, there are parts where the full economic potential is still to be unlocked. The area also faces a number of critical issues including ageing infrastructure, a skills shortage and population growth. This calls for economic investment.
Additional economic prosperity in the 3SC area would secure a substantial increase in income for Government. The proposed deal is predicated on using a proportion of that dividend to deliver the infrastructure needed to address years of underinvestment and ensure that future growth in the economy is sustainable. By keeping approximately 10% of the fiscal dividend produced, by 2030 we could invest an additional £11bn in the 3SC area through a revolving investment fund. This would be used to address the creaking infrastructure which is hampering business growth and making life increasingly difficult for residents.
Lack of supporting infrastructure – not just transport, but for example, schools, healthcare and utilities – can be a barrier to delivery of planned housing development. Housing in this area is not affordable for those on low incomes, including many key workers, which affects the ability of businesses and public services to access the skills they need. The 3SC will use the revolving investment fund to deliver strategic infrastructure to bring pace and certainty to delivery of planned development for local authorities and developers.
The right deal would enable us to bring forward sites suitable for mixed use developments that meet the needs of the growing population and economy, allowing more people to live near to where they work. We are seeking more influence over skills provision and careers advice, so that residents are equipped for the types of jobs available and businesses have access to a well-qualified local workforce. This would enable businesses to prosper across the 3SC area helping to create more jobs in the area, reducing the distance people travel to work and the subsequent pressure on transport networks.
To enable residents and businesses to make the most of the employment and educational opportunities across the 3SC area, it is important to improve connectivity. This means investing in transport networks to reduce journey times and improve reliability. The area must also have better digital connectivity if businesses, start-ups and rural and coastal communities are to thrive and to be prepared for the opportunities that will arise from new technologies, such as 5G.
Proposals around each of these themes are being developed and delivered through six workstreams. Each of these is composed of a group of officers from across the three counties, representing the local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships and wider partners.