City deal confirmed for Preston

Preston was named among the latest round of 20 city deals around the country, announced by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg on Tuesday.

The CBI welcomed the second wave of city deals, which will see the Government devolving financial and planning powers to local authorities.

Rhian Kelly, CBI director for business environment, said: "Giving cities the opportunity to bid for greater planning powers and autonomy over training and skills budgets should encourage investment in critical local infrastructure and help plug skills gaps.

"With three-quarters of the UK's business activity taking place in and around cities, they are hubs of economic activity. These deals will give cities real powers and resources which, if implemented well, will help to regenerate local economies, stimulating private investment and growth."

Manchester and Liverpool already have city deal status along with Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

The second wave of 20 included the Black Country, Brighton and Hove, Coventry, Cambridge, Hull, Ipswich, Leicester, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Oxford, Portsmouth and Southampton, Plymouth, Reading, Southend, Sunderland, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, Swindon, Bournemouth and Poole, and the Tees Valley.

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