Ipswich: Leaders “increasingly confident” about bid for £4m of City Deal funds

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere - Credit: Archant

Council and business leaders are “increasingly confident” they are making the case for Ipswich to clinch £4million of Whitehall funding.

This would help create 5,000 apprenticeships and 4,000 “high-value” jobs.

An Ipswich delegation, which visited London and made its case to ministers this week, said its City Deal proposal was “progressing well” and the meeting with the Treasury, skills and employment minister had been very positive.

The Government’s flagship City Deals plan aims to devolve power to local government and businesses to put them in control of economic opportunities and challenges. An announcement about the success of the bid is expected in the autumn.

The Greater Ipswich City Deal proposal aims to halve the number of 16 to 24-year-olds who are unemployed within two years and pilot a young people’s job centre in the town.

It would also aim to create 5,000 new apprenticeships by 2019 and 4,000 new jobs and 400 new businesses.

At least £10million would be invested in skills in the area.

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Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: “We had a very productive meeting with ministers. I am increasingly confident that we will be able to agree a deal which will see a dramatic reduction in youth unemployment in Ipswich.”

Leader of Suffolk County Council Mark Bee, who was at the meeting, said: “Our meeting with the ministers was very positive and we’re looking forward to hearing from them later this autumn.”

New Anglia Local Enterprise Zone chairman and Adnams chief executive Andy Wood and Paul Winter, Ipswich Building Society chief executive, and chairman of the Greater Ipswich City Deal Steering Group, were also at the meeting.