£2.84m investment package for the Heart of the South West

The Heart of the South West LEP is pleased to have secured a £2.84m funding package from Government for transport schemes in Somerset.  The funding is an addition to the recently agreed Growth Deal worth £270m.

The schemes will support the Hinkley Programme, a LEP initiative to capitalise on the construction of Hinkley Point C and the economic opportunities arising from it.  They include:

•    a new access to Taunton railway station from the Taunton Northern Distributor Road which is currently under construction;
•    enhancement of the forecourt at Bridgwater Railway station;
•    strengthening of the highway route leading to Hinkley Point C in order to make it fit for the increased traffic;
•    provision of a cycle route between Cannington and Combwich in order to facilitate cycle access to Hinkley.

Steve Hindley, Chairman of the Heart of the South West LEP, said:

“The construction of Hinkley Point C is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Heart of the South West area.  We want to make the most of it and use it to boost prosperity and generate thousands of opportunities for local people.

“We have been working with our partners for many months to make sure Hinkley delivers maximum possible benefit to the people and businesses of the Heart of the South West.  These improvements will help meet the transport demands of local businesses and connect people with training and employment opportunities.”

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member for Business and Inwards Investment, Somerset County Council, said:

“This is great news for these towns and the county as a whole. Growth is hugely important, however, it’s critical that our infrastructure keeps pace so it can cater for the transport needs that come with it. This funding will make a significant contribution to that.”

The Department for Transport’s announcement can be found at www.gov.uk/government/news/28-million-to-prepare-roads-and-rail-for-new-nuclear-power-station