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Oxford and Oxfordshire's City Deal bid has been announced by Government as one of the winners in a competition for economic growth, housing and infrastructure funding.
The City Deal bid has brought together all six Oxfordshire councils, the two universities, the big science facilities at Culham and Harwell, and the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership in a unique joint proposal that seeks to boost the knowledge economy and create a new partnership for growth.
The bid has been approved for further detailed discussion with the partnership designed to identify the areas in which Government will devolve more decision-making powers to the local level and will provide funding to deliver key growth-related infrastructure projects.
The Oxford and Oxfordshire proposal centres on the potential to accelerate the growth of the city region's knowledge-based economy through the development of a network of enterprise and innovation centres across the key economic 'hubs' of Oxford, Bicester, and Science Vale, which includes the recently created Local Enterprise Zone.
The Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal bid was in competition with 19 other cities across the country.
The bid team will now have a further nine months to work up full city deal bids with City Deals being agreed with Government in November 2013.
Councillor Bob Price, Leader of Oxford City Council says: "The City and County Councils, the LEP, Oxfordshire’s district councils, and the universities have worked closely together to make this a successful bid, but there is a lot more to be done to ensure that the final agreement meets our aspirations.
"Oxford was selected to bid for the City Deal because of its continuing growth potential, and its contribution to the national economy.
"Expanding the vitality of the Oxfordshire economy is vital for the future of our communities.
"Our focus is on creating employment and economic growth in the knowledge economy, supported by housing and infrastructure."
Oxfordshire County Council Leader Ian Hudspeth said: “Not only will this give us greater local control over how money spent by national agencies is targeted and delivered towards a common agenda but also provides Oxfordshire with real opportunities to address the transport issues which businesses identify as barriers to growth.
"The City Deal can help contribute to increased localism within our community in a way that creates efficient, effective and equitable public services as well as make Oxfordshire a place where businesses can thrive by creating jobs for people."
Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Chairman Adrian Shooter said: "This decision is excellent news for Oxfordshire. It will be a very important boost to the local economy. It will provide valuable investment in a host of critical areas and will lead to the creation of more skilled jobs.
"Having City Deal status will also put more decision making power in the hands of local people who have a better understanding of the local economy and where new funding needs to be invested."
Released on Monday 18 February 2013