HotSW LEP Commits to Clean Growth in Support of Prime Minister’s Pledge to Build, Build, Build

Following today’s announcement by the Prime Minister, the Heart of the South West LEP welcomes the £5bn investment nationally in large infrastructure projects, and hopes to see a good proportion of this funding to be allocated to the HotSW area.

Last week the LEP submitted a list of 63 shovel-ready projects – listed here – amounting to £121m at the invitation of Government to act as an economic stimulus for the Heart of the South West.

The LEP expects to be told later this week, the exact amount of funding that will go to HotSW; and will then be able to identify which of these projects are successful. It has been announced today that as part of the £5bn package, £900m will be for ‘shovel ready’ local growth projects in England over the course of this year and next, and £96m to accelerate investment in town centres and high streets through the Towns Fund this year.

The HotSW share will be a welcome stimulus 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 in the wake of Covid-19 and create up to 3,000 jobs:

  • 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)

A summary paper about the HotSW Covid-19 £121m Economic Stimulus – Shovel-ready Projects bid is available here and the full list of the 63 accelerated and new projects that was in last week’s bid is available here.

HotSW LEP Chair, Karl Tucker said: “We’re pleased that the Prime Minister has made this commitment which will help us our vision for a clean, green and inclusive future.

“We look forward to finding out exactly how much is allocated to our area later this week. We have a robust set of initiatives that will provide a real economic boost for the HotSW area, helping our communities and economy restart, revitalise and grow.”

The Prime Minister is quoted as saying:

“All I can say is that, if so, then that is how it is meant to sound and to be, because that is what the times demand – a Government that is powerful and determined and that puts its arms around people at a time of crisis.

“This is a Government that is wholly committed not just to defeating coronavirus but to using this crisis finally to tackle this country’s great unresolved challenges of the last three decades.

“To build the homes, to fix the NHS, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK. To unite and level up.

“To that end we will build, build, build.”

The full press release from the Government today is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/build-build-build-prime-minister-announces-new-deal-for-britain