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We can build on the success of our city deal

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The Bristol and West of England city deal arrangements – with business rate growth retention and the establishing of an economic development fund for investment in infrastructure – has allowed us allocate about £500m to a range of schemes, levering in a similar amount of private sector investment.

Our local transport body is overseeing a 10-year major scheme allocation with a longer-term view of transport funding providing greater stability and even closer joint working between the authorities.

The West of England apprenticeship hub works with businesses, colleges and other training providers increasing the number of apprenticeships delivered across the city region.

Our employability charter-mark provides a framework for schools to develop a strategic approach to preparing young people for the world of work.

The growth hub is a success, our Invest in Bristol & Bath team, supported by the UK Trade & Investment, is attracting new jobs and business to the West of England helping this area contribute over £26bn a year to the UK economy.

As the chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership I know that everyone would be supportive of building on the success of our city deal to allow greater flexibility of decision making and management of budgets, but the form that this should take needs to be developed by the local authorities involved.

Colin Skellett, chair, West of England Local Enterprise Partnership

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