Minister for Cities Greg Clark has signed the City Deal agreement with Sir Peter Rigby, Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) chair and Cllr Craig Humphrey, leader of Rugby Borough Council.
It is hoped that the City Deal will help create more than 15,000 new jobs by 2025.
City Deals allow cities and areas to play a greater role in helping to grow their local economies through added powers and responsibilities.
The CWLEP’s proposition is centred around the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector – “Re-engineering Engineering” – with a major emphasis on encouraging growth by making it easier for companies to realise expansion plans through simplifying routes to advice, finance and skills.
A new Clearing House will provide access to advisors on key matters relating to business support, access to finance, planning related matters and contacts related to employment requirements and skills as well as providing strong links to government.
It will be based at Cheylesmore House – the venue for the signing which took place as Sir Peter stepped down after 20 months as LEP chair.
He said: “This is a very significant day for Coventry and Warwickshire and we are very pleased that the minister has been able to visit Cheylesmore House to sign the City Deal.
“We see this as a key development to help to push forward our economy at first concentrating on the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector and then moving to other vital sectors.
”There is a myriad of advice and support but it is a very cluttered and confusing landscape. That puts companies off and thereby limits their ability to get suitable advice and help, and adversely affects their growth.
“The Clearing House presents a clear and concise service to ensure companies are directed to the relevant support, quickly and accurately allowing them to concentrate on doing what they do best.
“It has taken a great amount of work to get to this stage and we are just a few weeks from the Clearing House opening.
“I believe that we have put a great deal in place over the last 18 months to promote and stimulate jobs and growth. They will see real results for Coventry and Warwickshire for years to come. I am looking forward to seeing the city and county grow and thrive.”
The City Deal will also trial two initiatives to help improve skills of young people and allow them to take opportunities created in advanced manufacturing and engineering.
This includes a new Shared Apprentice Scheme which will see apprentices gaining work-based training in a number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Greg Clark, Minister for Cities, said: “Coventry and Warwickshire is world renowned for advanced manufacturing and engineering. Businesses in the area can create high quality jobs for local people for years to come.
“This City Deal has been proposed by local businesses, civic leaders and universities. It will support advanced manufacturing and engineering businesses that want to expand, export and innovate. It will help ensure that as order books fill, local people have the skills to take up the jobs that have been created.”
Cllr Craig Humphrey, Leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “The emphasis of the Coventry and Warwickshire City Deal is on advanced manufacturing technologies, which is something that the borough of Rugby does very well.
“With the Manufacturing Technology Centre at Ansty Park, and the growth that the new urban extensions will bring, the borough is well placed to take advantage of the job opportunities and investment that will result.
“There is no doubt that the deal is good news for the wider Coventry sub-region.”
Councillor Ann Lucas, leader of Coventry City Council and CWLEP board director, said: “Our City Deal bid was very strong and extremely practical, and it is great to see the ideas now coming to fruition.
“The Clearing House – and the associated programmes – are all geared to helping growth in our economy and to ensure that businesses can gain the support they need to ensure they have fruitful and productive careers.”
Councillor Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council and CWLEP board director, said: “The CWLEP was designed and set-up to bring growth and jobs to the area and the measures in the City Deal will help companies reach their potential.
“It will massively simplify and streamline access to help and support and that can only be a good thing.”