1. ITV Report

Preston growth plan unveiled

A plan worth £434 million to boost the economy in Preston has been signed off by the government.

The deal signed today by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, local businesses and leaders from Preston City Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Lancashire County Council is the first of the second wave of City Deals to get the go ahead from government.

Housing: the deal is expected to enable the delivery of 17,400 new homes in the Preston area. This includes an extra 2,400 new homes over what was previously planned. Approximately 1,200 new homes are expected to have been built by 2015, with a further 1,200 under construction by 2015.

Private sector leverage: the establishment of an Infrastructure Delivery Programme and Investment Fund worth a combined total of £450m is expected to leverage a further £2.3bn of commercial investment in housing and employment sites.**

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg hailed the deal as a major boost for the city's economy:

“This is an historic deal for the people of Preston and Lancashire. The North West has seen strong economic growth in recent years, so this deal with Government means that hard-working families can have the jobs and homes they need to get on in life. It puts more power in the hands of local people so that they can choose where the big investments are made. This is a fair way for Government to support cities as they grow and I hope many more cities will follow Preston and Lancashire’s lead.”

Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, said:

“This is a great deal for Preston and Lancashire. The government is committed to unlocking the full growth potential of our cities," said Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, " Powerful, innovative cities, empowered to shape their own economic destinies, will be able to get the national economy growing. This deal will be crucial in helping Preston and Lancashire attract outside investment with new transport links, housing and employment sites dramatically improving the growth potential of the entire region.”