Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Government announces Growth Deal for Kent and Medway

The Government has announced that the business-led South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has secured a £442.2 million funding package to boost economic growth across Kent, Medway, East Sussex and Essex - with a particular focus on transport schemes to bring new jobs and homes.

This funding, not all of it new, includes major transport and business support projects in Kent and Medway, including the commitment to delivering: 

  • the A2 Bean Junction and A2 Ebbsfleet Junction in the Roads Investment Strategy 2015-2020. This is subject to the Highways Agency and SELEP and partners working together to agree the funding package and local contributions to take into account the delivery of the Ebbsfleet Garden City and, as appropriate, other major development proposals and announcements about the Lower Thames Crossing
  • the major Highways Agency project at M20 J10a and provide funding for the total cost of the scheme (£35.7million)
  • new link road in Canterbury (Sturry Road) (£5.9m)
  • new parkway station in Thanet (£10m)
  • the business case for the Dover Waterfront - Town Centre Links scheme, to identify more clearly the costs and benefits and support the Port’s Dover Western Docks Revival scheme

The scale of nationwide bids for the Growth Fund meant it was over-subscribed by a factor of three. As a result, and despite the ambition of the SELEP team to transform the area and bring about significant economic growth and new housing, the Government chose to allocate proportionally larger per capita levels of funding to the north of the country, namely Manchester and North West.

The funding allocation follows SELEP’s bid of £1.2bn in its Growth Deal to drive local economic expansion over the next six years - supported by business, local authority and education leaders across the area - and its bid for support from the Government’s Local Growth Fund.

The £442.2m funding for the SELEP area includes £358.2m for new growth schemes, in addition to the £74m already committed for large transport projects. The Deal will see at least £84.1m invested in the SE LEP area next year, supporting the delivery of up to 35,000 jobs and 18,000 new homes and more than £100m in private investment over the period.

Although not all the details are yet known, SE LEP understands it can now bid separately for additional funding – increasing the amount the organisation has already secured.

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