Michael Gove and Peter Jones
Michael Gove and Peter Jones
The extra money from the Local Growth Fund, which adds to the £442.2m of funding committed by the Government on 7 July 2014, will help to deliver:
• Relocation of an existing marina and improved highway connections to permit expansion of the cargo-handling facility and regeneration of waterfront at Dover, leading to 100 new homes and the creation of 500 jobs
• Investment in signalling at Ashford International railway station to help secure international rail services at Ashford and up to 2000 jobs
• A new lorry parking capacity in the M20 corridor, alleviating congestion, tackling Operation Stack, and facilitating new housing and up to 300 jobs
• Growth in the advanced manufacturing sector through the provision of new employment (up to 300 jobs) and innovation space at Rochester Airport in Medway
• Mixed-use redevelopment of Folkestone seafront to provide up to 500 jobs, 300 homes, improved leisure facilities and public realm
Welcoming the news, Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent, said: “The investment in Dover and Ashford, and the money to help tackle the problems of Operation Stack, are a real boost for the county’s links with Europe.
“The High Speed Rail and motorway links to the channel tunnel and ports are already a big draw for companies looking to locate or expand in Kent, and the fact that money has been allocated to these key projects can only help enhance that attraction.”
Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015-2021) South East Local Enterprise Partnership, which covers East Sussex and Essex in addition to Kent and Medway, estimates that up to 45,000 new jobs could be created, 23,000 new homes built along with the potential to generate up to £700m public and private investment.
SE LEP Chair Peter Jones said: “This Growth Deal is a huge boost for the South East Economy - through our Deal with Government almost half a billion pounds is now to be invested in local growth, supporting projects of national significance and of real importance to local areas, bringing new jobs, businesses and homes.
“This funding builds on the earlier investment announced for transport infrastructure, reaches right across the South East from the Thames Gateway to our coastal towns and attracts new private sector support. By recognising the development of our SEFUND investment fund, it also offers the opportunity to fund future growth in new and different ways.
“SE LEP has taken huge strides in recent months; our excellent businesses and councils across East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock are working together to make the South East the place for business and growth.”
The South East LEP Growth Deal is part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the national economy – building on the strength of the South East.
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