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SEMLEP invests £18m from the Growing Places Fund

8 August 2012

SEMLEP announces £18m of investment into the area following the Board’s decision to allocate Growing Places Fund resources.  The aim of the fund is to boost the economic development by creating new jobs, infrastructure and homes.  SEMLEP’s commitment to the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone is confirmed by an allocation of £7m for projects within the Enterprise Zone.  Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said:  "This is a significant investment in the Enterprise Zone that will really kick start our plans. The funds will help us deliver a range of schemes that will push development forward and unlock the massive potential that the area has to bring jobs to Northampton.”

Five projects will be supported by the SEMLEP Board and will receive funding subject to successful completion of the second stage of due diligence.  Silverstone will receive over £4m to invest in utilities. “The decision to invest in the site is welcomed by us all and will provide opportunities for companies located in the area to benefit from this emerging centre of high performance engineering excellence.  It is a great example of the public and private sector working together to develop the economy locally.  This will help maintain Silverstone's position as a leading global centre for sport, leisure, education and technology and retain its position as a world-leading motor sport destination.” said Councillor Mary Clarke, Leader of South Northamptonshire Council.  “This is great news for Aylesbury Vale.  Investing to transform the Master Plan into reality to develop the Silverstone Circuit as one of the most important economic assets in Southern England, creating around 8,400 permanent jobs at the site in the longer term and around 550 construction jobs each year over the 20 year development phase will be a real boost for the local economy” said a spokesperson for Aylesbury Vale Advantage.  

We are also pleased to support the sustainable urban extension east of Kettering which will deliver 5,500 houses and  up to 6000 new  jobs over the next ten to fifteen years, and will also be the catalyst for other investment in the area,  which is already beginning to come forward. The investment of nearly £2m will ensure that the development can start soon and will realise the benefits of new jobs, much needed new homes, new facilities and infrastructure for the whole of Kettering. The homes will set new standards in energy use and sustainability.  

Another prestigious project which promotes one of SEMLEPs showcase sectors, the green economy, is to be helped by the fund.  Electric Corby is working to establish the town as a leading edge location in the UK for testing and delivering energy efficient living and low carbon vehicles. This project will help accelerate the delivery of new homes across Corby by attracting homebuyers with the incentive of a Zero Energy Bill Home at Priors Hall Park.  This project will also help the drive for quality employment growth through an Access to Clean Technologies Hub aimed at engaging local businesses and residents and attracting inward investors.  Nick Bolton, Electric Corby Project Manager said, “Clean and green will play a big part in the future of Corby’s economy. SEMLEP’s support with the Growing Places Fund will have an immediate impact in delivering our projects and raising the profile of Corby as a first choice location for inward investment”

Marston Vale Innovation Park in Bedfordshire will receive £2.5m to deliver the key up-front infrastructure (highway works and utilities) to bring forward a £200m development, creating 1,600 jobs focussed on manufacturing and engineering, along with 500 homes, over the next 10 years.

We are also pleased to announce that £3m will be allocated to the final phase of Bedford Western Bypass, subject to funding being available following an analysis of cash flow within the fund.  This project is an essential element of the growth plans for the area, which will not only enable the full transport benefits of the bypass to be achieved, but will also unlock delivery of adjacent housing and employment sites. 

Dr Ann Limb OBE, DL Chair of SEMLEP said “The allocation of Growing Places Fund resources is an important step for SEMLEP.  All of these projects will contribute significantly to economic growth in the area.  The revolving nature of the fund means that we will be able to invest in more projects in the future”.


Note for editors:

  1. SEMLEP was allocated £18.7m from the Growing Places Fund by the Department for Communities and Local Government in February 2012.
  2. This fund is intended to be used as a revolving fund to invest in infrastructure to support the creation of jobs and homes in the SEMLEP area.
  3. The funds are held by Luton Borough Council as the accountable body on behalf of SEMLEP.
  4. The Board decided at its meeting in February to allocate £1m to the East West Rail Project click here for more details
  5. Projects were required to submit outline expressions of interest by 31st January 2012.  This was followed by more detailed information in April.
  6. The SEMLEP Board has received presentations on all 6 potential projects and has received advice from a Task Group of local authority and private sector representatives with an independent Chair.
  7. The next stage of due diligence will be carried out by BDO, who were appointed following a competitive tender process by Luton Borough Council.  Mills and Reeve have been appointed to complete the legal documentation.


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