£13 million funding package for Bath homes and jobs provisionally approved
Provisional approval has been given for Bath & North East Somerset Council to receive £13 million of funding to unlock key development sites in the Bath City of Ideas Enterprise Area that will help create up to 6,500 jobs and 3,500 homes for local people.
The approval was made by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) at a meeting today (7.11.12). The funding is part of the Revolving Infrastructure Fund investment which the LEP is allocating to projects across the LEP area.
Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said, "This is a very positive development for Bath & North East Somerset Council and its residents as we continue our progress to regenerate the key development sites on the River Avon corridor. The projects that the investment will support are crucial to deliver the regeneration, including the removal of the gasholders."
Councillor Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), Leader of Council, added, "There is enormous potential to develop a successful economic corridor by connecting the Bath 'City of Ideas' Enterprise Area with the regeneration of Keynsham and also Bristol's Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. Developing a business destination at various sites along the River Avon and in Bath city centre where higher value businesses, like those in the digital and creative industries, can locate and expand would create thousands of extra homes and jobs for local people."
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What are the projects?
With homes at Bath Riverside being completed apace, the provisional funding awarded by the LEP will support key projects to build upon this excellent progress and deliver a successful Enterprise Area.
- £4 million to support the relocation and remediation of the Gas Holders which is crucial to progressing the goals of the Enterprise Area;
- £3 million to provide a strategic flood compensation solution for Bath to allow development of key city centre sites;
- £2.5 million to deliver the Bath Quays Footbridge to connect key development sites across the river;
- £3.5 million to replace the Destructor Bridge. This will bring forward the delivery of affordable homes on the Bath Riverside development.
The Council envisages that the Enterprise Area will build upon Bath's international reputation as a centre of academic excellence and a world leader in a range of knowledge-intensive sectors including green technologies, micro-electronics, science, and technical innovation.
The funding is provisional because three of the four bids require final approval from elected councillors through the 2013/14 budget process and further robust, detailed business plans making clear how funds will be repaid from within the individual projects. The strategic flood compensation solution is well advanced through this process.
The provisional RIF funding will be part of the Council's emerging budget proposals for the three years starting 2013/14. Any resident or local organisation can have their say about any proposals in the budget by giving their view at www.bathnes.gov.uk/budgetview or writing to Resources Team, 3rd Floor, Guildhall, Bath, BA1 5AW.
The proposal will also be discussed by the Housing & Major Projects Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on 20th November 2012.
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