Government minister in talks on Derby’s coronavirus economic recovery plans

Published: 22 July 2020

Infinity Park Innovation Centre

Infinity Park Innovation Centre

A senior Government minister is to visit Derby tomorrow (Thursday 23rd July) to discuss the city’s strategy to reboot its economy after the coronavirus crisis.

Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, will hear how a partnership, drawn from the public and private sectors, is already working to maintain business confidence, diversify the local economy and decarbonise the city.

He will be briefed on the efforts of a task force set up to help find new employment for workers facing redundancy as part of the economic fallout from the pandemic and shown how Derby Market Place is being transformed into an exciting eating, drinking and performance area to encourage visitors and help local hospitality businesses.

Members of the Economic Recovery Task Force will also present further details on bids made for millions of pounds of funding from Mr Jenrick’s department to help the city build back better and differently.

Projects to be discussed include a £20m advanced manufacturing research centre, to generate jobs and help businesses develop low-carbon technologies, and a £23.7m regeneration package to develop an exciting future use for Derby’s historic Market Hall, build offices and create new public space in the city centre.

The minister will also be lobbied over potential changes to public sector funding to allow local authorities to invest in regeneration.

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council said:

We are very grateful to the Secretary of State for taking time to visit Derby to hear more about our strategy to emerge strongly from the current health and economic crisis. We look forward to briefing the minister on the actions that local partners are already taking to reset our economy and the areas where we believe the Government might be able to assist.

Mr Jenrick will be shown around the iHub innovation centre at Infinity Park and tour Rolls-Royce, where he will be briefed on the company’s advances in low-carbon technology and strategy to support the UK’s path to net zero through innovations such as its small modular reactors.

The minister will hear that Derby is committed to diversifying its city centre offer, to create more homes, work space and green public areas, and its economy more widely – with a particular focus on supporting clean, advanced technologies.

Earlier this month, the Council announced plans for a major new arena to be built at Becketwell and last week the Environment Agency revealed that the city would receive £10m of flood alleviation funding that will also free up land for homes and business use and create a North Riverside park in the city.

Members of the economic recovery task force have also been working closely to assist investors keen to develop in the city and have received assurances that around £500bn of schemes will continue, despite the challenges posed by the COVID emergency.

Councillor Poulter said:

While the coronavirus crisis is creating significant challenges, for health and the economy, Derby is looking forward to a positive future. We are determined to work with the private sector and colleagues in central Government to shape a city that will be a truly great place to live, work and relax. 

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