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23 February 2017

£19.5 million cash boost for Dorset to help create local jobs and growth

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today announced a government cash boost of £19.5 million for Dorset to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.

Some of the locally-chosen projects likely to benefit over the next few years include:

  • A new business district in Lansdowne;
  • Transport improvements in Gillingham to unlock further housing developments; and
  • A new housing development at Holes Bay in Poole.

These, alongside other projects, will improve skills, create jobs, build homes and improve infrastructure.

This latest award of Local Growth Funding is on top of £79 million of Growth Deals funding already awarded to Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership. This will see jobs created, homes built and extra investment.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“As part of efforts to deliver an economy that works for everyone, the government is equipping local people with the resources they need to drive forward local growth.”

“That’s why we’re giving £19.5 million of new money to Dorset to give businesses the support and opportunities they need to achieve their potential. This is on top of the £79 million we have already awarded.”

Local Growth Minister Andrew Percy said:

“Today’s £19.5 million investment will support the delivery of new homes and jobs right across the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.”

“These growth deals are a crucial part of our efforts to create an economy that works for everyone, and will ensure every region of the country has the chance to realise its full potential.”

Gordon Page, Chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“We submitted an ambitious business plan to accelerate economic growth across Dorset and are pleased to have been awarded £19.5 million to deliver a range of projects to fuel long-term growth across the county. This vote of confidence by the Government reflects our county’s economic potential and firmly places Dorset on the world map as an outstanding place to do business.”

“We now look forward to focusing on the important task of implementing these projects for Dorset and creating new jobs, stimulating private sector investment, driving business expansion and creating a better skilled workforce.”

Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, said:

“I am thrilled with this announcement. Having made the case for Bournemouth, this funding means my constituency will get a major boost as a result of these projects. The Lansdowne is a major opportunity for commercial revival and growth, whilst every driver will welcome work to ease the nightmare that is the Wallisdown Road. And the support for Bournemouth University will further lock in its role as a major driver in the economy of Dorset and a critical asset to Bournemouth which is the economic powerhouse of the county.”


Creating an economy that works for everyone

The £12 billion Local Growth Fund provides local leaders with the cash they need to support locally determined projects.  Under the fund, England’s 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships – made up of council leaders and business representatives – bid for investments based on local priorities.

Bids are highly competitive and to be successful, Local Enterprise Partnerships need to work with partners to agree strong and accountable governance and put forward proposals that boost growth and bring in private sector funding.

Over £9 billion of the Local Growth Fund has now been awarded to LEPs through three rounds of Growth Deals, helping more than 1,000 projects get started across England already – this is supporting vital infrastructure, improving skills and creating thousands of jobs. Together with money for unlocking housing sites to support home building and investment in very large transport schemes – both announced in 2016 – we have fulfilled our commitment to a £12 billion Local Growth Fund.

In Dorset this has already:

  • Supported the major rebuild of the A338, a nine-month long £22 million project. Dorset County Council was responsible for delivering the A338 project on time and on budget. It was one of the greenest road maintenance projects in the country;
  • Delivered £900,000 of Growth Deal funding at Kingston Maurward College to build a purpose-built facility comprising an agricultural classroom, an IT suite, a high spec workshop and machinery facilities including a fleet of tractors, plough, sprayer and variable rate drill; and 
  • Enhanced Bournemouth University’s Orthopaedic Research Institute with £700,000 of Growth Deal funding to purchase a range of equipment, such as the new world-class orthopaedic gait analysis laboratory - the ‘GRAIL’ (gait real-time analysis interactive laboratory) - and state-of-the-art virtual reality training equipment.

Now this latest award will help do even more to benefit the lives of local people across the area.  New projects include:

  • Work to increase international investment in, and business at, the ground-breaking Orthopaedic Research Institute at Bournemouth University;
  • Providing match funding for key capital enhancements to Dorset tourist attractions, boosting productivity by increasing visitor numbers, stay and spend;
  • Wallisdown Connectivity, a significant upgrade to the major Bournemouth-Poole commuter road which connects the two University Campuses to Poole, and suffers from congestion at peak times;
  • Transforming the Lansdowne area of Bournemouth into a major new business district through a package of infrastructure and urban realm improvements;
  • Gillingham Access to Growth - transport infrastructure improvements to unlock housing and employment developments; and
  • Holes Bay, enabling the release of a major housing site in Poole, delivering up to 1,350 new homes.



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