On 5 July 2012, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander visited the West of England to agree a Deal which will devolve new responsibilities to give the West of England the flexibility needed to attract private investment, close skills gaps and attract new jobs.
The Bristol and West of England Deal has five parts:
- The growth incentive and the economic investment fund, which will allow the West of England to keep 100 per cent of growth in business rates in the Enterprise Areas over 25 years to invest in projects, allowing the West of England local authorities to deliver an investment programme worth £1 billion.
- Ten years of major funding allocation for the Greater Bristol Metro; flexible delivery for the Bus Rapid Transit Network which will allow savings to be recycled locally; and new powers over rail planning and delivery.
- A city growth hub with up to £2.25 million of Government funding which will provide additional support to inward investors. This will be based in the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and will work closely with UK Trade and Investment.
- The business community and local enterprise partnership will have more influence in skills provision in the West of England, in particular the £114 million Skills Funding Agency funding for Further Education colleges for post-16 provision, to help capture employer demand.
- A Public Property Board will manage up to £1 billion of Bristol City Council assets and an estimated 180 land and property assets to unlock more land for economic growth or housing and to lever in additional public or private investment.