Last week, my cabinet approved an expansion of our successful scheme to incentivise companies to invest in Doncaster, bringing new jobs to the borough.
Creating new jobs and achieving sustained economic growth are vital to the future of our town.
That is why I have placed these priorities at the heart of my programme as Mayor of Doncaster.
We need more jobs in the borough, particularly skilled jobs that pay good wages, and I am focused on delivering key transformational projects that can help to achieve these goals.
To bring jobs and economic growth to the borough, we must support new start-up businesses, help existing businesses in Doncaster to grow and bring new investment to the town.
However, it is a competitive market place and we must do all we can locally to help encourage and stimulate that investment.
We need to ensure companies choose to spend their money in Doncaster rather than other towns and cities.
The Business Investment Incentive Scheme supports this by offering incentives to encourage businesses to locate or expand in Doncaster.
The pilot scheme has been successful and six schemes have now been approved to go forward for agreement.
If all the outcomes of the committed funds are achieved, the investment made by the council will realise 535 jobs – with 108 attracting a salary of £23,000 or more.
It will deliver more than £21 million worth of initial investment into the borough and result in an increase in business rates of about £549,000 per year.
As the council gets to keep 49 per cent of business rates, that means that not only will the pilot scheme pay for itself over two years, but it will also bring in more revenue that can be spent on public services and help to offset the huge cuts in its budget imposed by central government.
With such good outcomes on the horizon, we have now decided to expand the £500,000 pilot scheme and invest a further £1m.
The money comes from the council’s reserves, so is not taken away from the running costs of other services.
Projects already in the pipeline that could be supported by the expanded fund are expected to realise 270 jobs, with 100 attracting a salary of £23,000 or more, and more than £12m worth of initial investment into the borough, with more to come.
By investing public money in this way, we are helping to create jobs for local people, secure further economic growth in the town and bring in more money that can be used to develop public services. What is more, the scheme will pay for itself, so it is a common sense policy which is a win-win for everyone involved.
* Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster