£33m is pledged for the City Deal

Leader of South Ribble Council, Coun Margaret Smith
Leader of South Ribble Council, Coun Margaret Smith
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South Ribble Council has pledged more than £33m towards a deal which will see hundreds of homes built and thousands of jobs created across the area.

The borough council has joined forces with Preston Council and Lancashire County Council, as well as the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, to push forward a City Deal proposal.

The bid will be put before the Government for consideration, and South Ribble’s cabinet last week agreed in principle to the latest draft of the proposals.

Council leader Margaret Smith said: “Things are moving quickly, but there is a lot to take in and consider.

“We need to look at whether this is right for South Ribble.

“There will be no extra house building in the borough other than what has already been earmarked in the LDF (Local Development Framework), but if this City Deal goes ahead, it will help to accelerate that work.

“We want South Ribble to still be a place where people want to live, with its green space and parks, so the main thing people need to be assured about is that we want what is right for this borough.”

The focus of the City Deal is to gain additional Government support and assistance for a series of infrastructure investments which would help deliver the development proposed in South Ribble’s LDF, which has also been set out in the county council’s Transport and Highways Masterplan.

South Ribble Council has agreed to put forward £33.69m towards a new Infrastructure Delivery Programme to support the City Deal.

This money will come from contributions including the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) from new housing developments built in the area, Section 106 contributions from developers, the New Homes Bonus and Business Rates.

Preston has pledged £34.72m towards the Deal, Lancashire County Council will foot £71.48m, developers will help fund £70.71m, and £130.96m will be needed from central government.

A progress report which went before South Ribble’s cabinet said: “The City Deal Infrastructure Delivery Programme, at almost £350m, will accelerate the delivery of critical infrastructure by at least seven years, ensuring the delivery of the Central Lancashire Transport Masterplan, which, in turn, enables the full development of significant housing and commercial development schemes.

“This includes four major highway schemes, namely the Preston Western Distributor, South Ribble Western Distributor, Broughton Bypass and Penwortham Bypass, and the necessary local community infrastructure such as education and health facilities, open spaces and town and district centre improvements (such as Penwortham, Tardy Gate and Leyland) all of which will be required to support the scale of such ambitious

development.”

The Government is aiming to agree on the Preston and South Ribble City Deal before Parliament breaks for the summer recess on this Thursday, July 18.