Nottingham plans creative hub with 'City Deal' cash

Eric Pickles said it would attract new business and jobs

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Up to £60m is to be invested in Nottingham's economy after the council agreed a new "City Deal" with the government.

The money will go towards establishing a "creative hub" in the east part of the city to encourage new business and potentially create thousands of jobs.

As part of the deal, Nottingham City Council will set up a venture capital investment fund for new start-ups.

It has also promised to cut youth unemployment in the city.

Nottingham is one of eight English cities outside London to have negotiated one of the new deals.

It is hoped the agreements will allow authorities to press on with projects which encourage growth rather than having to apply for Whitehall funding each time.

The council said the investment would focus on the city's Creative Quarter which includes areas of the Lace Market, Hockley, Broadmarsh East, the Island site and Biocity.

Roads and broadband

New businesses will be able to apply to a Nottingham-based fund manager for loans between £100,000 and £1m.

They will also benefit from subsidised rates and have access to a central pool of 300 apprentices.

The cash will also be spent on road improvements and upgrading the area's broadband infrastructure along with schemes to establish Nottingham as one of the UK's low carbon cities.

The government is contributing £25m towards the £45m venture capital investment fund with a further £10m to follow if it performs well.

It will also provide funding for training schemes and apprenticeships and the council said it hoped to attract further funding through donations from individuals.

Jon Collins, council leader, said: "Through our growth plan we will help Nottingham become, once again, a city that designs and makes things.

"This deal provides a platform for the next generation of Nottingham entrepreneurs to carve out their future, create opportunity and jobs, and lead Nottingham to an exciting new future."

Communities secretary, Eric Pickles, said: "Nottingham's deal will unlock local growth, investing millions of pounds in new high tech start-up firms and critical infrastructure to fire up the economic engine of the city's creative quarter."

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