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Minister signs £500m South East Growth Deal

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An agreement has been signed between the government and South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) which will see nearly £500million of Government investment into the South East.

The South East Growth Deal, which covers Kent, East Sussex, Essex, Medway, Southend and Thurrock, was signed by Transport Minister Baroness Kramer and Peter Jones, Chairman of SE LEP during a visit to a creative industries hub in Thurrock.

The SE LEP estimates that over the lifetime of its Deal, from 2015-2021, that up to 45,000 new jobs could be created and 23,000 new homes built, with the potential to generate £700m of public and private investment.

Baroness Kramer said: “This £500 million investment in the South East will make a phenomenal difference to the whole of the region. The government is giving regions the power to make big investments locally to build a stronger economy and a fairer society for all.”

Peter Jones, Chairman of SE LEP, said: “The Growth Deal between ourselves and Government is tremendously good news for our businesses and residents. It enables us, and our local partners, to drive forward our shared growth agenda for this part of South East by improving the region’s connectivity, boosting skills and delivering new sustainable communities.

The South East Growth Deal will help tackle many longstanding issues by securing investment in infrastructure, further education colleges and provide wider support for businesses. It will also bring together local, national and private funding as well as provide new freedoms and flexibilities.

Projects funded by the Growth Deal in Kent include:

●      Ashford - Investment in signalling to help secure international rail services at Ashford and up to 2,000 jobs

●     Dover - Improved highway connections to permit expansion of cargo-handling facility and regeneration of waterfront, resulting in 100 new homes and the creation of 500 jobs

●      Folkestone - Mixed-use redevelopment of seafront to provide up to 500 jobs, 300 homes, improved leisure facilities and public realm

●      M20 corridor - New lorry parking capacity alleviating congestion, tackling Operation Stack, and facilitating new housing and up to 300 jobs

●      Rochester Airport - Growth in the advanced manufacturing sector through the provision of up to 300 jobs and innovation space

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