Funding of £6.97 million for local improvements in the East Midlands has been approved by the Government.
The funding which has been given the green light is part of an early investment offered to the area as part of devolution negotiations. It is not dependent on devolution proposals going ahead.
It is part of £18 million on offer from the Government to the region for investment in different projects supporting local priorities, which relate to housing, the environment, infrastructure, skills, and transport in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Derby, and Nottingham
The programmes which are being funded in Derby are:
- £1 million for a new long-term private rental scheme to address homelessness in Derby City and reduce the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for housing. The scheme will see six new properties purchased in the city. The properties will be used as a stepping stone for those on their journey to a permanent living situation. The reduced use of B&B will save £123.3k over five years.
- £1.22 million for more affordable housing in Derby. 15 new homes will be built at four sites in the city, helping to reduce the shortage of affordable housing in Derby. The new homes include 10 two-bedroom houses, a three-bedroom bungalow and four, four-bedroom homes. The construction is expected to be completed by September this year.
Other regeneration and net-zero projects are also in the pipeline, with decisions on these expected soon.
Derbyshire County Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Derby City Council and Nottingham City Council have been working with the Government on devolution plans including a package of local powers and funding worth £1.14 billion, from 2024. If the plans go ahead, it would also mean a new regional mayor.
The leaders of the four councils signed up to work on a devolution deal on 30 August this year at Rolls Royce in Derby. Since August, the councils have developed a more detailed proposal, which includes more information about how devolution would work in our area. The proposal was the subject of a public consultation, which took place from 14 November 2022 to 9 January 2023.
Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council, said: “We want to make the most of every penny so this can be used to make a real difference to people’s lives, and the approval of these projects is just the start of bringing that to fruition.
“The East Midlands has long been overlooked in terms of funding. This deal can offer Derby and our wider region real opportunities for much needed investment, which we are starting to see already.”
David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s important that we reduce the number of homeless families and individuals in B&Bs and support them into housing, so it is great that this £2 million will help create a new long-term private rental scheme in Nottingham City and Derby City.
“This is just the start of the investment the region would get with this deal. Devolution gives us the opportunity to bring in more money and to fund more projects like these for the benefit of Nottingham and the whole region.
“We will continue to champion the city and the East Midlands area to get the investment we need. The Devolution deal collectively will help create jobs and training opportunities and improve transport infrastructure and create more homes for local people.”
Ben Bradley MP, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: n“It’s great that we’ve got the go ahead for these local programmes, and I hope that we will soon get approval on these other important projects.
“More affordable housing, tackling homelessness, cycle paths and foot paths, a multi-million-pound green skills programme; they are all important, and needed for our area.
“I’m really pleased that devolution will pay-off in the short term as well as the long term, to directly benefit local people.
“We’ve been working together to get these projects funded, and we’ve got confirmation that they can become a reality. Fantastic news.
Barry Lewis, Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “The approval of these projects is a solid example of the benefits that devolution are bringing to our region.
“These schemes will make a measurable difference to people’s quality of life through opportunities to gain new skills, environmental and health benefits from walking and cycling, better housing and new infrastructure.
“This is the East Midlands levelling up, and finally getting the benefits that we have missed in the past.”
Devolution would mean a new guaranteed funding stream for our region of £38 million a year over a 30-year period. Covering Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Derby, and Nottingham, the devolved area would cover around 2.2 million people, making it one of the biggest in the country.
The devolution deal includes an extra £16 million for new homes on brownfield land and control over a range of budgets like the Adult Education Budget, which could be better tailored to the needs of people in our communities.
The regional mayor would lead a new combined authority, which would include representatives from existing local councils, with decision making powers and resources moving from London to the East Midlands. Local businesses would also have a voice, as well as other organisations.
Devolution would not mean scrapping or merging local councils, which would all continue to exist as they do now and would still be responsible for most public services in the area. The mayor and combined authority would instead focus on wider issues like transport, regeneration, and employment across both cities and counties.
The public consultation on devolution, open to residents, businesses, community groups and other organisations, took place from 14 November to the 9 January. For more information please visit the East Midlands Devolution website.