Cabinet Members are being asked to consider and approve three projects for funding, through its Economic Infrastructure Fund (EIF), on 4 September 2012.
The EIF is targeted to support five priorities for the council: Get York Moving; Digital York; Reinvigorate York; Economic Inclusion; and Building a Sustainable Economy.
At its meeting of 3 April, City of York Council agreed the creation and governance of the £28.5 million EIF, over the next five years, to provide funding for projects of strategic importance to the city’s ambitions; acting as an economic stimulus to create jobs and grow the economy.
In addition to the £3.3 million funding earmarked for further Reinvigorate York works in the city centre, a Promoting York fund has been identified to proactively build links to emerging markets, where there is a clear economic benefit to the city; respond to inward investment opportunities; and more effectively promote the city to identified target markets.
The fund, first set up in the 2011/12 budget, equates to £50,000 per year over a period of five years and would enable the council to take an active part in coordinating and providing leadership to the city’s international agenda. According to BIS estimates, it is expected to generate a return of £19 for the city, for every £1 spent – an expected return on investment of £2 million.
In addition to this, a £30,000 investment in analysis of the city’s current economy has been proposed, to support the city’s future spatial plans and deliver the right opportunities for economic growth, in line with the council’s ambition of the creation of 1000 jobs per annum.
The proposed analysis would establish a robust evidence base detailing the current performance of the city centre as a location for economic and social activity, against comparative cities. It would also address opportunities for growth and the challenges of York’s physical make-up to economic development.
Cllr James Alexander, Labour leader for City of York Council comments: “The UK economy is still an incredibly difficult one for businesses to operate and prosper. Now is the time not only to bolster our work in the city centre, to enable our businesses to survive and grow, but to ensure we are exploring and exploiting opportunities for economic growth abroad. York has an international reputation, I want to use this to serve new markets and gain employment opportunities for our residents.”
“The Economic Infrastructure Fund was created to kick-start key projects for the city that otherwise would not be possible in the difficult current economic climate. These new projects would leverage almost £4 million of external funding into the city over the next 5 years – supporting our priority to ensure a viable and sustainable economy for York.”