Colliers International reacts to SCR’s devolution plans


Earlier this week, Mayor Dan Jarvis and the four leaders of South Yorkshire’s local authorities – Cllr Julie Dore, Cllr Sir Steve Houghton, Mayor Ros Jones and Cllr Chris Read – reached a consensus, after years of impasse, on the way forward for devolution for the Sheffield City Region. 
 

The plans they set out ask the Government to unlock millions of pounds in funding for the Sheffield City Region, on the understanding that each authority is able to move to other devolution arrangements at the end of Mayor Dan Jarvis’s current term of office in 2022 – if they wish to do so. 

Guy Gilfillan, Director and Head of Colliers International in Sheffield, said: “The proposed solution represents a common sense approach given the similarity of the local economies and their reliance on one another commercially and culturally. 

“The Sheffield City Region is supported by strong foundations – Doncaster is one of the UK’s primary logistics locations and has land coming through the local plan. Barnsley has major land releases coming through its approved Local Plan. Rotherham and Sheffield are home to the globally significant Advanced Manufacturing Park and the 2,000-acre Advanced Manufacturing Improvement District, while Sheffield City Centre is seeing more tower cranes than at any time in modern history. 

“To see local authorities working together to come to a consensus on this important issue is great to see and the distribution of the significant levels of Government funding released through this arrangement will have substantial advantages for the regional property market.”

Walter Boettcher, Chief Economist, and Director of Research and Forecasting, Colliers International, added: “Given the local focus of the Sheffield City Region in pulling together Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham as an integrated metro region, especially through the promotion of the Global Innovation Corridor, pursuing a Greater Yorkshire agenda now would have dissipated this initial effort. 

“Postponing final decision-making on Greater Yorkshire until the next Mayoral election will provide time to entrench the plans and development that is already underway, and perhaps demonstrate the speed and efficacies of working with locally-focussed coherent units which can later be integrated through infrastructural improvements into larger economic regions.”