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£31.02m cash boost for the Solent to help create local jobs and growth

02 February 2017

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today announced a government cash boost of £31.02 million for the Solent to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.

The Solent LEP hopes to use £25.7m of the funding to bring forward Stubbington Bypass, a strategic investment which will transform connectivity of the Solent Enterprise Zone and wider Fareham and Gosport peninsula.

Solent LEP will also use Growth Deal funding to establish a Solent Productivity Investment Fund for the area, enabling the LEP to invest in local skills and infrastructure projects which enable productivity growth in the Solent.

Alongside the £31.02m Solent Growth Deal, Solent LEP will bring forward the next phase of development at Centenary Quay in Southampton. This investment, which is separate from the Growth Deal, will unlock over £64 million additional private sector investment and enable delivery of more than 340 new homes.

This latest award of ‘Local Growth Funding’ is on top of £151.9 million of Growth Deals funding already awarded to the Solent LEP. The total award could see 6,500 jobs created, 12,000 homes built and attract £600 million in additional investment over the next 5 years.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

As part of efforts to deliver an economy that works for everyone, the Government is devolving powers and resources directly from Whitehall to local people who know their areas best. That is why we’re giving £31.02 million new money to the Solent to give businesses the support and opportunities they need to achieve their potential – on top of the £151.9 million we have already awarded.

Caroline Dinenage, MP for Gosport, said:

I am delighted that this much-needed road improvement project will be delivered. Since I was elected, I have been clear that the Stubbington Bypass is a critical part of the solution to our area’s traffic problems. That is why I have campaigned tirelessly both locally and nationally for the investment needed to complete the project. This new strategic route is essential to meet the needs of long-suffering residents and commuters, who have to put up with terrible congestion on a daily basis. So too, it will transform connectivity of the Solent Enterprise Zone and the wider peninsula, breaking down a key barrier to our area’s economic regeneration.

Solent LEP Chairman Gary Jeffries said:

The Solent economy has huge potential and the investment announced today for Stubbington Bypass represents a major boost to the region through unlocking growth opportunities on the Fareham / Gosport peninsular. The bypass was identified as a key scheme within our Transport Investment Plan, however, we know there is more work to do and we will continue to work with both local partners and national agencies in the coming years to secure the further investments which will unlock growth opportunities in Southampton, Portsmouth and on the Isle of Wight.

Details on projects supported through the Solent Productivity Investment Fund will be announced by the Solent LEP in due course.

Creating an economy that works for everyone

The £12 billion Local Growth Fund provides local leaders with the cash they need to support locally determined projects. Under the fund, England’s 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships – made up of council leaders and business representatives – bid for investments based on local priorities.

Bids are highly competitive and to be successful, Local Enterprise Partnerships need to work with partners to agree strong and accountable governance and put forward proposals that boost growth and bring in private sector funding.

£7.3 billion of the £12 billion Local Growth Fund has already been allocated to more than 900 projects across England – helping to build vital infrastructure, improve skills and create thousands of jobs.

In the Solent this has already:

  • Supported the construction of a new £10.9m Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine skills on the Isle of Wight, giving local people the skills to work in local world class composites and marine businesses. The centre will open in 2017.
  • Improved local transport infrastructure in Fareham and Gosport, with key improvements at St Margaret’s roundabout and Peel Common roundabout, including additional provision for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • An improved transport interchange at The Hard in Portsmouth, improving transport connections in the city and with ferry services to Gosport and the Isle of Wight.
  • Enabled the development of the Dunsbury Park employment site which is a new business gateway to the Solent

Now this latest allocation of £1.8bn government investment – including £31.02 million in the Solent - will help do even more to benefit the lives of local people across the country.

Across London and the South East local people are set to benefit from £492 million investment with the Solent LEP receiving £31.02 million to spend on projects including:

  • Stubbington Bypass: a £34.2 million project, with an investment of £25.7 million from the Local Growth Fund, which will provide a new 3.5km road with pedestrian and cycle provision. This scheme will better link residential areas with job opportunities and has considerable local support.