The West of England Joint Committee will consider investing up to £17m in local projects to boost economic growth when it meets at 2.30pm on Wednesday 18th April, at the Guildhall in Bath.
The Joint Committee is the decision-making body for issues relating to the West of England Combined Authority, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils, and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The committee will make funding decisions on the following projects:
A39 junction improvement
£700,000 for a Bath & North East Somerset Council scheme to ease congestion at the A39 Bences Garage junction with the A368 Marksbury Road.
This would provide an extra lane and build on recent improvements to the Three Headed Man Junction on the A39, also supported through the Local Growth Fund. Approval is recommended in a report to the meeting.
Grow-On2 space at the Bristol and Bath Science Park
£1m for new workspace for small businesses, using 18 customised shipping container units, next to Grow-On 1, which is operating at capacity. Approval is recommended.
Nuclear Futures Open Innovation and Technology Centre
The University of Bristol is seeking £14m from the Local Growth Fund to build a new industry research and innovation centre at the Bristol & Bath Science Park.
The recommendation is that an alternative, lower-cost, proposal is requested from the applicants, to fit within the funding available.
Bath Riverside Enterprise Zone Team
Approval is recommended for £685,000 to support a team to develop and promote employment sites within the Enterprise Zone.
Clevedon Cultural Quarter: Creative and Digital Business Hub
£1.3m to buy and refit Waverley House, next to the Curzon Cinema, as a small business/creative hub with meeting and community space.
The recommendation is that this should be added to the list of schemes seeking investment through the Local Growth Fund, should further funding become available.
There will also be a discussion about Sub National Transport Bodies (STBs). Government wants to see STBs established across the country to support developing regional transport strategies.
Three have already been formed in England, and there is now an opportunity to establish STBs in the West of England region.
Members will discuss how this might work in the West of England, given the different connectivity, requirements and issues across the whole of the South West region – to reflect this diversity it will be recommended that at least two STBs need to be explored.
Plans for a South West Local Energy Hub are also on the agenda. WECA, as the host authority and Accountable Body for the West of England LEP, received £1.03m from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to support low carbon project development.
The aims of the Hub are to increase the number, quality and scale of local energy projects being delivered across the South West of England, as well as raising awareness of the opportunities and benefits of local energy investment.
The meeting will be webcast live at: www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/meetings/.