A new bus station for Swindon, the creation of a digital hub in Corsham, and improvements to the roads around Trowbridge are all on the cards, after Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership secured an extra £11.5m of government cash.
The cash is in addition to the £129.3m of funding committed by the Government in July 2014, further boosting the LEP’s bold vision for economic growth in Swindon and Wiltshire. The total value of the Growth Deal now stands at £140.8m.
The LEP estimates that up to 3,000 new jobs could be created and 2,000 new homes built over the lifetime of the deal (2015-2021). The latest commitments made also have the potential to generate up to £80m of public and private investment.
Key features of the expanded deal include:
Supporting the development of Digital Corsham through an incubation space for digital and innovation start-ups, with teaching space and collaboration space for the digital sector
Facilitating the relocation of the Bus Interchange facilities as part of the wider redevelopment of Swindon Town Centre
Improving the A350 to the South East of Trowbridge
The Swindon and Wiltshire LEP, Government and Swindon Borough Council will review the business case for Thamesdown Drive and will seek to identify any short-term road improvements that could benefit the area in conjunction with the LEP’s process for setting its strategic economic priorities.
Barry Dennington, chairman of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said, “I am delighted that the Government recognises the economic potential in Swindon and Wiltshire by announcing an expansion of our Growth Deal.
“These projects, on top of the initial package of Growth Deal investments, will be transformative, developing Swindon and Wiltshire’s economy and further underlining the area’s strengths in innovation, collaboration and high-tech industries.”
Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council, said, “This is great news for Wiltshire, the funding provides further support to develop key transport infrastructure across the county, which in turn will create new jobs and deliver much needed housing.
“In particular it also recognises the unique opportunity that Corsham provides to our county's future economy. Wiltshire Council fully backs this initiative and we are committing £1.5m of our own resources and assets towards this project”.
David Renard, leader of Swindon Borough Council, said, “The announcement of the funding to enable the building of the new Bus Exchange is very welcome and a great indication of support for the regeneration of the Town Centre in Swindon.
“We have a strong partnership in place to deliver this project, which will provide a tremendous gateway into the centre of the town. It will benefit the residents of Swindon and the wider area and, crucially, support the development of Kimmerfields, the new professional and business heart of the Borough.
“The significant developments of the digital centre in Corsham and the road infrastructure to open up opportunities for much-needed new homes in Wiltshire are all good news for businesses and residents of the Swindon and Wiltshire LEP area.”
The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Deal is part of a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are the latest and greatest example of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country.