Investing in new jobs, new homes, and greater prosperity for local people – discussion in public for
How Bath & North East Somerset Council will support economic growth, job creation, new homes, to offer better opportunities for local people will be discussed in public by the Housing and Major Projects Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel on 20th November 2012.
The Regeneration, Skills, & Major Projects service plan is the final of four reports setting out how the Council proposes to respond to the difficult national economic situation, rising costs, and demographic change.
By making financial efficiencies across the Council, whilst protecting priority frontline services as much as possible, we are in a position to make sensible, long-term investments in the fabric of the area to support the creation of new jobs and homes for local people.
The successful delivery of major developments across the district will also result in securing additional income for the local taxpayer's purse through the New Homes Bonus and the entitlement to keep half of the growth from new businesses from April 2013.
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Delivering the Bath 'City of Ideas' Enterprise Area
There is enormous potential to develop a successful economic corridor by connecting the Bath 'City of Ideas' Enterprise Area with Keynsham and 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 up to 9,000 jobs and 3,500 homes for local people.
We envisage 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.
With homes at Bath Riverside being completed apace, the Council has secured additional external funding to increase the investment in key infrastructure projects to nearly £19 million of investment to build upon this progress.
- £7.45 million over five years to support new affordable homes and the infrastructure necessary to make Bath Riverside a pleasant, attractive place to live;
And via the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, access Revolving Infrastructure Fund (RIF) investment to provide the following:
- £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
- £2 million to replace the Destructor Bridge. This will bring forward the delivery of affordable homes on the Bath Riverside development.
The RIF funding is provisional because three of the four bids require 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.
Regenerating our communities
There is extensive work taking place to support the creation of jobs, new homes, and greater prosperity in our local communities. This work includes:
- Keynsham: Our plans to create a vastly improved town centre will kick-start the Keynsham economy, creating new jobs and new opportunities for local people. The project represents one part of the overall plans for the town which include the redevelopment of Somerdale and the Riverside building that the Council will vacate;
- Somer Valley: Alongside the private sector and Government agencies, we will be working to bring forward key regeneration sites in Radstock and Midsomer Norton, such as improving the road network in Radstock to prepare for new homes on the former Railway Land;
- Bath's communities: Work will continue to improve the London Road as one of the key gateways into the city and ensure the right type of development at the MoD sites at Ensleigh, Foxhill, and Warminster Road.
The work to provide superfast broadband to the overwhelming majority of homes and businesses across our area will continue through the Connecting Devon and Somerset consortium will continue – we propose to allocate £460,000 over the next two years to support this.
Supporting improved skills
It is important that the Council continues to work in partnership with local Universities, Further Education Colleges, businesses, and Job Centre Plus to support projects that improve the skills of local people, particularly the growing numbers of young people who find themselves out of work. This includes:
- Developing plans to become provide and support placement opportunities through apprentices, interns, undergraduate placement schemes and Project Search;
- Working with local Colleges and Universities to ensure that local skills provision reflects future business needs improving the local employment opportunities;
- Developing a single employer gateway within the area to connect employers and job seekers.
Now have your say…
Any resident or local organisation can have their say about the budget by:
- Giving your view at www.bathnes.gov.uk/budgetview or writing to Resources Team, 3rd Floor, Guildhall, Bath, BA1 5AW;
- Attending the public meeting giving two working days' notice to the Council via Democratic Services at email@example.com or calling 01225 394435.
The full report can be found here: http://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=457&MId=3687&Ver=4
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