More than £45 million has been invested through the Local Growth Fund on major schemes which have been completed or started, to improve transport, skills and growth across the West of England.
Funding has been provided by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the Local Growth Fund, which is administered by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).
Key investments across the area have included:
- £11.8 million into the construction of the FoodWorksSW food and drink innovation centre – the only one of its kind in the South West – near the motorway junction at Weston-super-Mare.
- £700,000 on additional improvement work on the A39 at Marksbury aimed at easing congestion and improving journey times for thousands of motorists – complementing work carried out last year, as part of plans to keep people moving.
- £8.6 million into learning provision at Weston College to increase the number of people developing skills in the areas of construction and health.
10 schemes, with investment totalling £22 million, have been completed so far. These include:
- £5.765 million for the University of Bath and South Gloucestershire Council to jointly purchase the Bristol & Bath Science Park as a centre of excellence for research and development across the region.
- £2.1 million on major improvements to the Aztec West roundabout – including more lanes on the approaches, widening the foot and cycle way, new pedestrian and cyclist crossings, and additional advance direction signs.
- £1.8 million for Bath’s new Odd Down coach park – as part of the regeneration plans for Bath Quays; helping to prepare for the growth of businesses in the city.
- £1.3 million to establish a Health Technology Hub at UWE to support a research and innovation centre.
The Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “The Government is committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future.
“These major investments in transport, science, research and business support, totalling over £45 million, will make a huge difference for people living in the West of England.
“They’re a great example of how the Local Growth Fund is helping us build an economy fit for the future with local communities across the country receiving the investment and resources they need to flourish.”
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “It’s been a great year for improvements happening right across our region. I’m really pleased to see so many important projects being completed to support the West of England’s growth – from helping people get around to giving businesses a boost.
“The West of England Combined Authority and the LEP have already allocated millions of pounds through the Local Growth Fund and we look forward to offering even more support in the coming year.”