South Yorkshire Covid recovery stimulus approved by metro mayor and local leaders

Part of the fund will be invested in high streets in the region. Credit: PA

An £860 million stimulus has been approved for South Yorkshire by the region's metro mayor and other local leaders.

According to the Mayoral Combined Authority, there will be investments in infrastructure, transport, high streets and the region's young people.

The plan was announced two weeks ago and was approved today.

The plan will involve discounted travel for young people in the region. Credit: PA

Sheffield City Region Mayor, Dan Jarvis, said that the plan meant that it would be local leaders calling the shots in the area, not politicians in Westminster

"Today we invest in South Yorkshire’s future. We will not be blown off course by COVID," he said.

"We’re working to create a stronger, greener, fairer South Yorkshire for all – delivering not just recovery, but renewal."

He added: "We are backing our young people: with a pledge to help them get where they need to be, to help provide the skills they need, and to create the opportunities they want. We are backing our businesses: helping them adapt and thrive after COVID, and attracting new ones to locate and grow here."

What the plan will involve:

  • Young People Pledge: Discounted bus and tram fares for young people with support to improve skills and find work.

  • £360m for South Yorkshire recovery over the next 12 months: Money will be provided for new homes, apprenticeships, flood defences and better transport links.

  • South Yorkshire Renewal Fund: worth up to £500m: From 2022 money will be spent on infrastructure and transport as well as on skills and jobs.

The plan was praised by the leaders of Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield Councils.

Councillor Bob Johnson, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: "We are investing in this deal so that the people in our region can continue to have confidence in Sheffield as a great place to live, work and visit and know that it will continue to thrive."

Councillor Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council, said: "I am delighted that we have agreed this comprehensive package which will contribute towards new and existing schemes, including town centre regeneration, flood defences, job creation and transport – demonstrating how the South Yorkshire devolution deal can deliver practical benefits to Rotherham residents."

However, the Lib Dem peer Lord Scriven said that the money was just "re-badged and re-announced" and that the combined authority were going on a "borrowing bonanza".