Only six months after the signing of the City Deal, and the promise of a massive £1.2bn investment in Oxfordshire, we have news of a landmark Oxfordshire Growth Deal.

Like the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, before him, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond travelled up to Harwell to seal the latest deal, expected to deliver £108.5m to the county, along with some 5,700 jobs, 4,000 homes and a further £100m generated from private sector investment.

Too good to be true? Certainly, the vagueness, vastness and variety of the City Deal launch led some, well used to the ways of New Labour — including this newspaper — to question how much of this money was in fact new. Many of the schemes outlined by Mr Clegg back in January appeared to have been already fully funded, some from non-Government sources — with apparently every major transport, housing, science and university scheme included on the list to boost that big total.

But all political sides, along with business and educational bodies, now appear to recognise that the Government is indeed serious and consistent in its determination to reap national and long-term benefits from Oxfordshire’s extraordinary success story in science and technology.

Examination of the growth deal is rewarding in every sense with sums of grant clearly identified for particular projects: with £35m earmarked for improvements on the A40 and the so-called Oxford Science Transit scheme and £4.5m for the Oxfordshire Centre for Technology and Innovation in Blackbird Leys for example.

And topping the list is £26m towards the Western Conveyance Channel to provide a long-term solution to city flooding, which now almost annually sees widespread disruption with the closures of the Abingdon and Botley Roads.

It means that the scheme — which seemed such a far-fetched solution when we first reported it — will indeed go ahead, perhaps two years earlier than scheduled. And, given the warm comments from the Government, there is no reason to doubt that more Government money will soon be forthcoming for this important scheme.

But it is also as well to note that the Government spells out the hefty financial contributions for this and most of the other schemes expected from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, that has been behind so many of these successful bids.

Working with councils, local businesses, the universities, the Environment Agency and others, it is clear that the LEP faces the ongoing challenge of showing the Government that the county can attract private as well as public money. Ultimately, it may even have to show that Oxfordshire is ready to build more homes, while contributing to its own flood defences. The extra money is real, but real choices will lie ahead, with self-help likely to be as much a requirement as self-confidence. But this week we should be content to welcome David Cameron’s government as a serious investor and supporter of the county’s continuing innovative growth.