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LEP gives green light to Transformational Growth Projects

25 March 2015

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has today announced the first major five projects identified in the Strategic Economic Plan to receive financial backing.

The funding is part of the Solent Local Growth Deal, a transformational £151.9m investment package for the Solent focused on enabling major developments, enhancing transport connectivity and growing the local skills and business base. This investment has the potential to create up to 6,000 new jobs; enable 11,000 new homes to be built and generate up to £400m public and private investment from 2015-2021.

The LEP has been consulting widely on schemes identified for funding since December 2014, and initial projects given the green light to proceed under the deal include;

  • Infrastructure upgrades in the Fareham and Gosport area; including the first phase of improvements to Peel Common Roundabout and as well as work at St. Margaret's Roundabout; 
  • Upgrades to existing facilities and a new advanced technology block at Eastleigh College;
  • A new centre of excellence for composites, advanced manufacturing and marine technology on the Isle of Wight;
  • New transport infrastructure to enable planned development to the north of Whiteley;
  • A package of measures with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to take a strategic approach to environmental disturbance mitigation across the Solent area, and;
  • Four Local Transport Body schemes in Fareham, Havant, Portsmouth and Southampton to improve transport and, ultimately, boost the region's economy.

It is anticipated that work on Solent Local Growth Deal funded projects will commence on site by summer 2015 following final consideration by the LEP.

The Solent LEP is also making Local Growth Deal funds available to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), with additional funding to extend the successful Bridging the Gap grant funding programme announced last week.

Gary Jeffries, Solent LEP Chairman, said:

"We know that we need to take a transformational approach to our connectivity, infrastructure, business base and labour market if we are going to create the conditions in which our businesses and people can thrive and reach their full potential. It is incredibly exciting to see our strategic economic plan moving from an ambition for the area to implementation and I am looking forward to seeing the first spades in the ground this summer so that we can deliver the new jobs, homes and business investment our area needs."

Work continues to progress on developing the wider Solent growth programme and funding for further schemes included in the Solent Local Growth Deal is expected to be announced in the summer.






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