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Huge investment to help create thousands of new jobs and boost infrastructure

29 January 2015

Minister Steven Williams visits Bedford today to launch our South East Midlands Local Growth Deal

Up to 5,000 new jobs will be created and 1,000 new homes built thanks to a £46.7million investment secured by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

The windfall will help kickstart a total of 10 projects across the area, including the expansion of MK Gallery, funds to aid the regeneration of Bedford town centre, the Vulcan Ironworks creative hub in Northampton and investment into Millbrook Technology Park.

The cash has been secured through the second round of the Government’s Local Growth Deal and will form part of the 2016/17 budget.

Dr Ann Limb OBE DL, Chair of SEMLEP said “I am delighted that SEMLEP has received £46.7m as part of the Local Growth Deal round 2. This will build on the £79.3m received in round 1 and help to deliver yet more jobs and new homes.

“The projects build on the strengths of our area as identified in our Strategic Economic Plan investing in key assets such as Millbrook Proving Ground and Cranfield University and our key sectors including advanced engineering and the cultural and creative sector to deliver highly skilled jobs.”

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “The £46.7million funding we’ve announced today will help make a real difference to local peoples’ lives by boosting the local economy.

“Creating new jobs and launching vital infrastructure projects, this new announcement means that over the next 6 years £126 million will have been injected into the local economy – devolving money from central government to grow local economies – helping to create a stronger economy and fairer society.”

Cllr James Jamieson, Leader of Central Bedfordshire said: “I am delighted that SEMLEP has secured a further package of investment in the South East Midlands through the Local Growth Deal, which will deliver more jobs and new homes.

“The investment in Millbrook Proving Ground, for example, will create a high quality centre of excellence for innovative automotive research and small scale production enabling more companies to be located on site.

“This will create around 60 highly skilled jobs initially within the automotive engineering and technology sectors with significantly more to follow with the extensive development planned for this site.”

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “This additional investment package is excellent news for Northampton and the South East Midlands, which builds on the strengths of the area.

“The Vulcan Works Project, which is located in the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, will deliver a ‘creative industries hub’ of managed workspace to support high level skills in the local creative business community in Northampton and the wider SEMLEP area.”  

Cllr Neil Blake, Leader of Aylesbury Vale District Council said: “This package of investment is excellent news for the whole SEMLEP area. The Waterside North project in Aylesbury will enable the delivery of the Masterplan for this area in the centre of Aylesbury with over 1,000 new jobs.

“There will also be an outdoor events infrastructure to be used, among other things, for events surrounding the torch lighting ceremony as home of the Paralympics. This is great news for the residents of Aylesbury.”

Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson said: “This is a huge boost for our project to deliver a comprehensive decongestion plan for Bedford town centre, featuring the much-needed new road bridge river crossing. 

“We knew that the bid we made, via SEMLEP with its support, made a powerful case for the project and the benefits it will deliver for future economic growth in Bedford town centre.  We are delighted that the government has recognised those benefits and is making this major contribution, via SEMLEP, to our efforts to bring the project forward.”

The investment package will fund:

  • Cranfield University - Development of an open innovation facility allowing for the integrated development of autonomous transport vehicles and related complex intelligent systems.
  • University of Buckingham - New building on Milton Keynes hospital site to house University medical teaching school, including research activities as well as staff accommodation.
  • Aylesbury - Public realm and outdoor events infrastructure to support and enable overall Masterplan for Waterside North.
  • Milton Keynes - Development and enhancement of Milton Keynes Gallery, as part of a wider town regeneration programme, quadrupling annual audience numbers to the gallery from 30,000 to 120,000, enabling major shows to be attracted, and becoming a stronger destination venue in the South East Midlands.
  • Bedford College - New building comprising electronics, electrical power and robotics laboratories, IT rooms and key equipment including CAD / Cam and 3D printing facilities, providing skills development support for the electronics, engineering and construction sectors.
  • Marston Vale Innovation Park - Gateway infrastructure works for Marston Vale Innovation Park, including site access road, utilities and initial unit supporting the establishment and growth of advanced technology and engineering businesses.
  • Northampton - The Vulcan Works Project, which is located in SEMLEP’s Waterside Enterprise Zone, will deliver a ‘creative industries hub’ of managed workspace to support the local creative business community in both Northampton and the wider SEMLEP area. 
  • Millbrook Technology Park - The infrastructure project will create a high quality centre of excellence for innovative automotive research, development and small scale production enabling more companies to be located on site, creating a significant number of highly skilled jobs within the automotive engineering and technology sectors.
  • Bedford town centre - Contribute to remodelling of town centre road network and support delivery of adjacent Riverside North redevelopment via highways infrastructure provision, including: Improved river crossing; enhance access to the town centre; and streetscape improvements to High Street
  • M1 to A6 (Phase 1 M1 to Sundon Park Road)

Click here to see the images of todays event. 

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