Following the successful completion of the first wave of city deals in July 2012, with the “Core Cities” the Government committed to work with a further 20 cities and their wider areas to negotiate a second wave of city deals in October 2012.
These cities (the next 14 largest cities and the six cities with the highest population growth) are in the process of negotiating the devolution of specific powers, resources and responsibilities required to deliver locally-determined economic priorities.
Over recent months I have been in negotiation with the Reading, Bracknell Forest, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham local authorities and the Thames Valley Berkshire local enterprise partnership (LEP) and I am pleased to inform the House that a number of proposals will take effect as the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership City Deal.
The Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership City Deal aims to improve the ability of young people in the area to take up the jobs that are being created by local businesses.
The city deal will:
Bring together local and national investment in order to ensure every young person has the opportunity to undertake the right training, improve their skills, find an apprenticeship or get a job.
In addition the LEP will work with local businesses to develop a joint approach to supporting new and growing businesses.
The LEP expects these arrangements to support new opportunities for 4,500 people in the area.