£45m boost for West of England

More than £45m was invested through the Local Growth Fund in 2018 to improve transport, skills and economic growth across the West of England.

The fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority, is provided by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.

West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “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.”

Key investments in 2018 included:

  • £11.8m into the construction of the FoodWorksSW food and drink innovation centre near the motorway junction at Weston-super-Mare
  • £700,000 on improvement work on the A39 at Marksbury aimed at easing congestion
  • £8.6m into learning provision at Weston College to increase the number of people developing skills in the areas of construction and health.

 Ten schemes, with investment totalling £22m, have been completed, including:

  • £5.765m 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
  • £1.8m 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.

The Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, said: “These investments 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.”

Professor Steve West, Chair of the West of England LEP, said: “We’re very pleased to support these ambitious projects that deliver important investment in the things that businesses in the West of England need – whether that be additional skills training, improved research and development facilities or better transport routes to support the supply chain. It’s great to see the LGF funding is having such a positive impact.”

Pictured above: West of England Mayor Tim Bowles

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