People talking in a building under constructionPeople talking in a building under construction

Getting Building Fund

People talking in a building under construction
Northampton College Advanced Engineering CentreNorthampton College Advanced Engineering Centre

Getting Building Fund

Northampton College Advanced Engineering Centre
East Northamptonshire Enterprise CentreEast Northamptonshire Enterprise Centre

Getting Building Fund

East Northamptonshire Enterprise Centre
Northampton Waterside CampusNorthampton Waterside Campus

Getting Building Fund

Northampton Waterside Campus
School students having a discussion with their teacherSchool students having a discussion with their teacher

Getting Building Fund

School students having a discussion with their teacher
A Starship Robot driving down a streetA Starship Robot driving down a street

Getting Building Fund

A Starship Robot driving down a street

Getting Building Fund

The Getting Building Fund, announced in July 2020, aims to support the UK’s economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis. The programme funds local, ready to start infrastructure projects which support local businesses, people and places to thrive.

The Getting Building Fund

In June 2020, the Government announced a £900million investment programme, the Getting Building Fund, for local, ready-to-start infrastructure projects that stimulate jobs and support economic recovery across the country. 

The SEMLEP area was allocated £27.3million and was invited to submit project proposals, to be approved by Ministers.

On the 4 August 2020, Ministers endorsed support for 12 projects in the South East Midlands. The projects were due to start construction in December 2020, with grant money to be spent by January 2022. 

Project selection

The projects were selected following SEMLEP’s pipeline bidding round held in January 2020. Alongside supporting the areas economic recovery, the selected projects are aligned to the South East Midlands Local Industrial Strategy. The strategy set out the priorities and interventions needed to invest in to realise innovation, further improve connectivity and achieve sustainable growth.

Together, the projects will create nearly 500 new jobs and support more than 2,300 students, aiding in the economic recovery of our area.


In March 2022, £27.2m of the total fund had been defrayed to projects with 2 completed. On all but one project, the GBF fund will all be spent by June 2022 and this is continued to be monitored. The final project is due to complete in the Autumn of 2022. The documents related to project funding discussed during SEMLEP meetings can be found in our website with details about each project set out below.

Keeping up to date

Please contact Judith Barker, Director of Programmes and Governance by emailing for more information. To keep up to date with the projects, we'd recommend following the SEMLEP Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, as well as signing up for our newsletter

Skills projects:

  • Barnfield / West Herts College, Luton, awarded £4,750,000: This is the largest grant awarded and will support the redevelopment of the college’s New Bedford Road campus, which as of June 2021 is progressing well and above-ground works have started. This will provide a new modern 6,000 sqm FE facility, creating learning space better suited to modern courses. It will also rationalise the existing estate and provide land for 110 new family homes.
  • MK:U – Start Up to Scale Up Programme, Milton Keynes, awarded £2,435,000: An innovation Hub in Milton Keynes, known as the Smart City Living Lab (SCLL), will provide education and support to scale start-up businesses. This will focus on smart city technologies including robotics, virtual reality, digital twinning, sensor technology, intelligent infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, drones, and advanced communications.
  • Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), Bedford, awarded £2,900,000: Bedford College’s facilities will be updated to enable it to start teaching Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), funding a new curriculum and the redevelopment of the existing construction teaching facility. As of June, the project is progressing with the exterior of the building is nearing completion.
  • Artificial Intelligence Maths and English Learning Platform, Bedford, awarded £440,000: This grant funded a new learning platform which has been designed to improve the achievement rate of learners undertaking Maths and English qualifications, improve the digital skills and improve teacher efficiency and wellbeing. With the project having successfully completed in May 2021, read the latest press release here.

Green recovery projects:

  • Bedford Green Energy Innovation Park, awarded £1,867,500: Located on a 30-ha former landfill site, this innovation park within the Oxford–Cambridge Arc will generate green, low carbon, clean energy to encourage others to reduce carbon emissions, adopt innovative technologies, and improve air quality. As of May 2021, the Work on capping the site is well advanced and the solar panels are due to be delivered in September 2021.
  • Electrical Supply to Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedfordshire, awarded £3.5million: This will fund further expansion of the automotive testing facilities at Millbrook Proving Ground by upgrading the power supply, allowing for more onsite employment activity.
  • Innovate Recycle, East Northamptonshire awarded £2.35million This project will support breakthrough technology, recycling end of life polypropylene carpet, enabling around 4,400 tons of waste carpet that would otherwise have gone to landfill to be recycled in the UK’s first plant to be developed in Northamptonshire.

Place making projects – investments in local infrastructure:

  • GLaM (Kettering Gallery, Library and Museum), Kettering, awarded £3million: Funding will revitalise and extend GLaM by creating flexible work/exhibition space, engaging with educational institutions, and developing a programme of events to strengthen community links. As of May 2021. Planning permission is in place and the project is due to start on site in June 2021. 
  • Flitwick Transport Interchange, Bedfordshire, awarded £2,219,035: Funding will support the development of an integrated transport hub at Flitwick Rail Station to deliver new passenger facilities, increase modal shifts from private vehicles to sustainable travel and support the regeneration of the station area
  • NN Contemporary Gallery Relocation & Renovation, Northampton, awarded £1.2million: Funding will be used to relocate and refurbish NN Contemporary Art (NN), an internationally recognised art space in the centre of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter. The project will create an attractive and innovative contemporary public space for industry and culture, complementing wider investments focused on the long-term health and sustainability of the town centre. Read the latest press release on this exciting project here.

Business support projects:

  • The Business Resilience and Recovery Grant Scheme offered match funding to local businesses to invest in new technologies, plant equipment or machinery to help businesses create employment opportunities. The grants, of between £5,000 and £50,000 were to build resilience for businesses affected by the economic shocks brought about by the pandemic by supporting investment projects that will create a significant, positive impact on the business’ future.

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