Local business boss to chair board that will…

Local business boss to chair board that will decide where £25m should be spent

THE head of a Shipley company has been appointed to chair a new board which will oversee the investment of up to £25m in Shipley’s economic development.

Head of Operations at CarnaudMetalbox Engineering, Adam Clerkin has worked at the company’s Shipley head office for over thirteen years, and will now head up the board that decides how the Towns Fund will be spent.

The £25m fund was announced by the Government late last year, shortly before the General Election. Shipley, along with Keighley, was one of dozens of towns across the country that would benefit from the funding – and local boards would decide where the money is spent.

A keen cyclist, Mr Clerkin is a regular user of the canal cycle path and competed in last year’s Bradford Dragon Boat Race as part of team Forti’s Force, helping to raise over £5,000 for the Lord Mayor’s chosen charities.

Community, business and local leaders came together this week to start drawing up ambitious plans to transform Shipley’s economic growth prospects as part of the government’s Towns Fund.

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The Shipley Town Deal Board will guide the Shipley part of the Towns Fund which is designed to ‘drive long term economic and productivity growth through investment in connectivity, land use, economic assets including cultural assets, skills and enterprise infrastructure.’

The board is made up of a group of stakeholders including the local MP, councillors, business representatives and local authority officers who have volunteered to support the development of an investment plan for Shipley.

The board will guide the council as the investment plan begins to take shape.

Once an investment plan has been developed, the council will be in a position to negotiate with the government for a Town Deal of up to £25 million to fund its economic development plans.

Adam Clerkin, Chairperson of the Shipley Town Deal Board, said: “I am very excited to be a part of the Shipley Town Deal and look forward to working with the board, council, local business and wider community over the coming months.

“The Shipley Town Deal offers a fantastic opportunity to deliver a lasting legacy for Shipley that will benefit the community for years to come.”

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This is an exciting time for Shipley and the Towns Fund work will help develop and bring together some of the other projects being undertaken in and around Shipley such as the £1m Streets for People programme and the District Growth Fund that offers business rate relief when empty units are taken on.

“Shipley has always had an active business and volunteer community and CarnaudMetalbox are a great example of that and I’m delighted Adam has agreed to chair the board. It’s great we’ve been able to pull together such a strong board to really drive Shipley forward over the next year and beyond.”