LEP Programme Delivery Board meets in Wyre Forest

The Programme Delivery Board of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership held its first ever meeting outside central Birmingham when it met at Wyre Forest House on Thursday 25 May.

The Board is chaired by Chris Loughran, the Deputy Chair for Delivery of the LEP, and has members  drawn from a number of councils involved in the LEP and the private sector . The chief executive of Wyre Forest District Council, Ian Miller, represents the three North Worcestershire district councils on the Board.

The Board’s role is to oversee projects funded from the Government’s Growth Deal, in which the LEP is investing £90m over the next 4 years. It is charged with ensuring the delivery of the Growth Deal (Local Growth Fund and Revolving Investment Fund) to help achieve the objectives of the Strategic Economic Plan. It also oversees progress on delivery of the City Deal and Growing Places Fund.

As well as ensuring effective management of the existing Growth Deal programme, the Programme Delivery Board is empowered to grant approval to projects up to £10m.

Councillor Ian Hardiman, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Generation, said:

“Wyre Forest has benefitted from being a member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP and the Worcestershire LEP. GBS LEP funding has supported a number of projects in the district including the Hoo Brook link road (Silverwoods Way) and the recently opened education centre at the West Midlands Safari Park.

“The Board’s meeting in Wyre Forest House included presentations on two important future projects, the new railway station at Kidderminster and a highway improvement to open up the Churchfields area for a major housing development and to help alleviate the congestion and air quality issues at Horsefair. The Council will continue to work positively with the project sponsors and the LEP on moving these projects to successful implementation.”

Chris Loughran said:

“It was a pleasure to hold the first meeting of the Board outside Birmingham in Wyre Forest. We received interesting presentations on future projects in Kidderminster which have been allocated or are being considered for funding from both GBS and Worcestershire LEPs, and will contribute to economic growth, infrastructure improvements and housing delivery. We were also able to undertake a short study visit to see the £16m Silverwoods Way for which GBS LEP provided £4.8m of grant funding. It was good to see that the road is being well-used. It has provided an important improvement to the highway infrastructure that relieves congestion on the ring road and has opened up a large development site for housing and employment uses as well as the popular Wyre Forest Leisure Centre.”