The Heart of the South West LEP welcomes the allocation of £35.4m from the national pot of £900m from the Getting Building Fund announced this week, and looks forward to announcing the final list of selected “Shovel Ready” projects from its bid.
The LEP expects be able to confirm the priority list of projects by 17 July following discussions with Government officials.
Two weeks ago, the LEP submitted a list of 63 shovel-ready projects – listed here – amounting to £121m at the invitation of the Ministry of Communities and Local Government to act as an economic stimulus to mitigate the effects of the lockdown.
The HotSW share is a welcome down-payment in advance of further necessary investment in some of the hardest hit areas of the country, which include coastal and rural towns.
The HotSW bid has eight priority programmes to help restart, revitalise and grow the economy:
- Town Centres
- Coastal Communities and Visitor Economy
- Work Hubs
- Retrofit Programme (lowering carbon impact on existing housing and businesses)
- R & D and Enterprise Zone Acceleration
- Unlocking Growth Funding (accelerating development of key sites)
- Helping Younger People Hard Hit by C-19 – Skills Project
- Enabling Projects (e.g. rural broadband/infrastructure)
Karl Tucker, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said:
“I am pleased that as one of the biggest LEP areas, our allocation of £35.4m is the highest in the South West and the 7th highest in the country, which we are advised recognises the economic impact on us by COVID-19 as well as the relative size of our area and population.
“This is welcome initial funding by the Government towards our Route Map to Recovery which will enable the area to restart, revitalise and grow.
“With this amount, we will be able to fund a number of shovel ready projects to be delivered by January 2022. However, therefore are many other important projects that we identified in our area that currently remain unfunded.
“We look forward to confirming with Government which of our shovel ready projects can be funded from this allocation of funding and to securing future funding for more investments in our recovery pipeline.”