Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West has welcomed the Government announcement that Reading will be included in the next batch of cities to be devolved new powers as part of the ‘City Deal’ initiative.
Reading will be offered new powers to invest in growth, improve local workers’ skills and create jobs, support local businesses, control budgets and improve critical infrastructure.
The government will now begin negotiations to finalise the details of the ‘City Deal’ with Reading. The Reading city deal bid was put together by a number of key partners including local councils and the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The city deal bid focused on reducing the skills gap in the local job market and improving the prospects of young people in the local area.
The full list of partners involved in the Reading and Berkshire City Region are:
Reading Borough Council; Bracknell Forest Council, Wokingham Borough Council; West Berkshire Council; Thames Valley Berkshire LEP; Reading UK CIC; O2; Oracle Shopping Centre; Thames Water; Federation of Small Businesses; Heart of Berkshire Hospitality Association; Jobcentreplus; New Directions; Reading College; Bracknell and Wokingham College; Berkshire College of Agriculture; University of Reading; Raising Participation Partnership; National Careers Service; Central Berkshire Education Business Partnership.
Alok Sharma said: “Reading is already an economic power house in the region with the City Deal providing an added impetus to boost private sector growth and I applaud the Government for taking the bold step of relinquishing power from Whitehall and putting it in the hands of local people.”