TWO government ministers have been in Rugby to trumpet positive signs in our economy.
Housing minister Kris Hopkins was at the Eden Park development last Thursday while skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock opened the new home of Automotive Insulations just down the road on Central Park on Monday.
Mr Hancock also went to the Manufacturing Technology Centre at Ansty.
The pair were in town ahead the announcement of a series of what the government has termed Growth Deals that will see £74.1million invested in projects in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Automotive Insulations has moved to a new larger premises at Central Point One on Central Park Drive from Somers Road.
The company which employs 100 people is considered one of the manufacturing industry’s success stories with Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Volkswagen among its customers for its noise reduction systems and thermal management products.
The move will allow the award-winning company, run by Rugby Chamber of Commerce chairman Jim Griffin, to double its business within three years.
Mr Hopkins visited Eden Park which is part of the Gateway development of 1,300 and land to provide 1800 jobs being developed up until 2021 and the masts site where 6,200 homes will be built.
Borough council leader Craig Humphrey said: “I was pleased to show Kris Hopkins how our pro-active approach to growth and investment is being delivered on the ground.
“The country, and Rugby, needs more housing. Our positive working relationship with developers and businesses means that we are getting quality housing and more jobs for our residents.
“We have already seen some considerable success, and will continue to work with developers to do what’s right for Rugby.”
MP Mark Pawsey added: “I was delighted to welcome the housing minister to Rugby in order that he could see first-hand the good things we are doing here to build new homes for hardworking local people.
“In Rugby we are experiencing both significant commercial development, providing more local jobs as well as building the homes we need to allow our town to grow and prosper.
“This is thanks to the Government’s long-term economic plan and our Borough Council’s positive approach to appropriate housing and commercial development.”
The Growth Deal, announced on Monday, will fund:
– Delivery of the North-South Rail and Coventry Station scheme, which will improve passenger capacity and secure an increase in train service frequency between Coventry-Bedworth-Nuneaton and a bay platform at Coventry Station
– Provision of new Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering “Grow On” Space for small and medium enterprises at Ansty Park to complement the work of the Manufacturing Technology Centre.
– Develop a new Skills Centre at Coventry City College to provide support for young and unemployed people in acquiring skills for employment, and for marginalised groups to acquire basic skills especially English and mathematics.
– Develop a new Apprenticeship Centre at Warwickshire College and to enable the college to purchase new equipment and refurbish college buildings, which will provide additional apprenticeship training in advanced manufacturing and engineering.
– Provision of new business start-up facilities at Progress House in Stratford-upon-Avon by converting an existing local authority building into a state-of-the-art facility.
– Delivery of the Coventry city centre road access project that will unlock housing growth, support retail regeneration and city centre employment accessibility.
It will also enable start dates of 2016/17 to be given to a series of projects including the improvement of the A46/A425/A4177 Stanks road network scheme, the dualling of the A5/A47 Longshoot to Dodwells to improve journey times between in Warwickshire and Leicestershire and links to Central, Birmingham Airport and the proposed High Speed 2 at key junctions connecting the University of Warwick, Whitley, Coventry and Warwickshire Gateway and Ansty.
Mr Hancock said: “The investment announced today will help to create up to 1,000 jobs and a new Apprenticeships centre and will allow for more than 1,000 homes to be built.
“Complemented by private sector investment, the Growth Deal will help encourage talented people to live and work in Coventry and Warwickshire and will allow local businesses to thrive.”
Jonathan Browning, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “There are some really important contributions to critical projects in terms of people and skill development, projects in terms of business start-ups and projects in terms of infrastructure and transport connections in the area.
“It is a great step but we need to keep momentum building as we go into the future.”
Minister for skills and enterprise Matthew Hancock with Automotive Insulations’ managing director Jim Griffin and Rugby MP Mark Pawsey. Picture by Jon Mullis 28.014.014.rug.jm1 (www.buyphotos247.com)
Housing minister Kris Hopkins looks over the plans for the Eden Park development in north Rugby with Mark Pawsey and Coun Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council’s portfolio holder for planning and economic development (s)
Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Jonathan Browning, Skills and enterprise minister Matthew Hancock, Manufacturing Technology Centre chairman Terry Morgan and Rugby MP Mark Pawsey (s)