THE Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Growth Deal was announced on July 7, as part of the national initiative to support economic growth.

There will be £44.2 million from the Local Growth Fund for the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership. In conjunction with that, there will be at least £28.8 million of additional investment, coming from local partners and the private sector. So, in total, there will be a total of £73 million of new investment.

At least 4,000 jobs will be created by 2021.

What is the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership? It is made up of representatives from local business, working with the County Council, the district councils of South Bucks, Chiltern, Wycombe and Aylesbury Vale. The Buckinghamshire New University, together with local further education colleges, also take part.

We have a lot to offer in Buckinghamshire, in terms of good skills and high achievements in education. This investment is intended to invest in that skills infrastructure, helping people to obtain training in key employment sectors locally. For those who perhaps have left school without good basic skills, there will also be programmes to help young people acquire those essential skills, so that they can move away from being dependent on welfare.

Across the area, North to South transport corridors like the A355 Beaconsfield to Amersham are scheduled for improvements. There are to be better links to CrossRail.

Other aims include a 5G testbed, to get access to 5G technologies for the Buckinghamshire electronics and communications sector, along with support for the extension of superfast broadband coverage.

There are also commitments to address issues like the affordability and supply of housing.

I hope that this package of investment will enable our businesses and local employers to grow and employ more people.