Government ‘must help Yorkshire’s economic recovery from pandemic’

The metro mayor of South Yorkshire and local council leaders say the Government must help the region’s economy to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) has formally approved the Renewal Action Plan designed to “make the region’s economy stronger, greener and fairer”

The plan was developed by Metro Mayor Dan Jarvis with the leaders of Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotheram councils, alongside the local enterprise partnership and representatives from business and education.

City region bosses say the proposals will support more than 55,000 training and job opportunities, back 25,000 businesses, and create 3,000 apprenticeships – as well as helping to regenerate town centres in the area.

Political leaders have now urged the Government to support the plans in autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

Mayor Dan Jarvis – who has already called for a £1.7bn “New Deal for the North” – said: “I’m pleased that leaders have formally approved our Renewal Action Plan. We have worked closely together to develop the proposals, which will support workers, businesses and places right across our region.

“We send a clear message to Government that South Yorkshire stands ready to deliver not just recovery, but renewal in our economy and society.

“Backing the plan will benefit our region, the north and the whole the country. Now the government must devolve the powers and invest the resources South Yorkshire needs – giving us the tools and resources to get on with the job and build back better.”

Doncaster Council mayor, Ros Jones, said: “Boris Johnson has promised to level-up the North, Doncaster and South Yorkshire is ready and waiting for investment, to support our residents, communities and businesses to recover from the pandemic both socially and economically.

“The next six months will be a challenge, as we continue with the ‘new normal’, whilst doing what we can to prevent a second peak, all whilst we shape our path out of the European Union.

“We have an opportunity to rebuild our economy to be cleaner, greener, stronger and more resilient. I ask of central government to give us the powers and the resources and we will do the job.”

Cllr Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield Council, said: “The challenges resulting from Covid-19 are profound and stretch across every aspect of our society.

“We know there will be economic consequences as a result of this pandemic that will cause an effect for some years to come. Knowing this, we’ve been working together across South Yorkshire, alongside the hard work we are doing in Sheffield, to put together a plan in order to lead our region’s recovery and renewal.”