Mayor Dan Jarvis and local leaders today approved a £860m stimulus to start South Yorkshire’s recovery from COVID and unleash the potential of the region’s people, businesses and places.

The ground-breaking plan was approved at the Mayoral Combined Authority meeting this morning (Monday 22 March) and heralds a ‘New Deal for South Yorkshire’.

The package includes:

  • The South Yorkshire Young People’s Pledge. A promise by leaders to help the region’s young people get around with discounted bus and tram fares, with support to improve their skills and find work.
  • Almost £360m funding for South Yorkshire’s recovery over the next 12 months, investing in infrastructure, new homes, apprenticeships, flood defences, better transport links – to create jobs, revitalise high streets and town centres and protect the environment.
  • From 2022, creating the South Yorkshire Renewal Fund, worth up to £500m by drawing down the MCA’s gainshare funds to unlock investment and transform the region. This will roughly be split between £300m for places, including infrastructure and transport; and £200m for jobs and skills.

Mayor of the Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis, said: “Today we invest in South Yorkshire’s future. We will not be blown off course by COVID. We’re working to create a stronger, greener, fairer South Yorkshire for all – delivering not just recovery, but renewal. Our plan sends a message of ambition and confidence: that South Yorkshire’s best days lie ahead of us, and that we’re making our region an even better place to live, work and invest.

“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. We are backing our places: with investment in flood defences, new, greener homes and revitalised town centres and high streets.

“Rather than Westminster calling the shots, it means local leaders and I can deliver on the priorities that matter to people in South Yorkshire and improve people’s lives. This is the power of devolution, and we will use to deliver a New Deal for South Yorkshire.”

Councillor Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council, said: “Protecting our local economy from the worst impact of the pandemic, whilst ensuring that we have measures in place to support jobseekers, businesses and communities to recover, is a priority for both Rotherham Council and the City Region. We particularly recognise the need to focus support on people entering the jobs market for the first time, with practical help for young people to develop skills and subsidised public transport to work through our Young People’s Pledge.

“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.”

Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: “Barnsley will benefit enormously from the £860m New Deal for South Yorkshire. It provides us with an opportunity to drive forward Barnsley’s future by investing in the areas that make a real difference to communities across the whole borough.

“We’re absolutely committed to helping the borough to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. Barnsley is a place full of possibilities, and later this year, we’ll launch Barnsley 2030, a partnership-driven ten-year strategy. This investment will help us bring aspirations to life, providing our young people, residents, communities and businesses with opportunities to grow and develop.”

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones said: “This funding will boost Doncaster’s recovery as well as delivering much needed investment in green infrastructure, travel, jobs and skills and revitalising our town centre with investment in homes, active travel routes and high-speed broadband.

“I am determined that Doncaster as a place won’t just recover from the effects of this pandemic, but will go on to thrive and provide opportunities for our people to flourish and succeed. This is a great example of how devolved spending can deliver for the whole Doncaster borough.”

Councillor Bob Johnson, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “In agreeing this deal, we are taking our future into own hands and using our money to invest in a scheme that will protect jobs; supporting businesses to recover from Covid-19 and encouraging new investment in the region to stimulate growth and create new employment opportunities.

“Whilst we continue to work hard to protect our communities from the effects of Covid-19, we must also put plans in place for the years to come, which is why we are putting schemes in place that will transform our infrastructure and improve transport links in and around Sheffield, help people to up-skill with enhanced access to work, and create an environment that is safe and attractive. 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.”