Kent & Medway is to receive a further £34.2m of government cash to help create jobs, support businesses and create new growth opportunities.
Andrew Percy MP, Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government, who has responsibility for local growth, today announced a government cash injection of £102 million for capital projects for the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), which covers East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock with a number of projects in Kent and Medway set to benefit.
Minister, Andrew Percy said: “From Southend to East Sussex, today’s £102 million investment will support the delivery of new homes and jobs right across the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.
“In fact right across the South East, people will benefit from £492 million extra investment thanks to these Growth Deals to create jobs and infrastructure projects of the future.
“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.”
The package of projects to be funded through this round of Local Growth Fund will improve educational attainment, create new jobs and provide the enabling infrastructure to support the delivery of new homes and employment, and will leverage an additional £112m in private sector funding.
The Kent and Medway projects to receive funding are:
- Dartford Town Centre Transformation (£4.3m)
- Ashford International Rail Connectivity Project (£4.8m)
- Fort Halstead redevelopment, Sevenoaks (£1.53m)
- Rochester Airport Technology Park, Medway (£3.7m)
- Strood Civic Centre Flood Mitigation Works (£3.5m)
- A2500 Lower Road Improvement (£1.26m)
- Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth & Enterprise Hub, Canterbury (£6.12m)
- Leigh Flood Storage Area, Tonbridge (£4.635m)
- A2 off-slip at Canterbury (£4.4m)
This latest award of Local Growth Funding is on top of £488 million of Growth Deals monies already awarded to the SELEP. This latest investment of £102m will deliver an additional 6,129 new homes, create or safeguard 30,785 jobs and secure a further £141 million of private sector investment across the region.
In total the SELEP Growth Deal from 2014 – 2020 now stands at £590.8m which is set to deliver 78,000 jobs, 29,000 homes in total and attract a further £960 million extra investment into the South East over the next five years.
Projects in Kent and Medway that have previously received funding have included the Kent and Medway Growth Hub, Tonbridge Town Centre regeneration, Sittingbourne Town Centre regeneration, M20 jn 4 improvements, Maidstone gyratory improvements and the Rathmore Road Link, Gravesend.
SELEP Chairman Christian Brodie said: “This Growth Deal settlement is a huge boost for the economy in Kent and Medway.
“We have secured funding to channel significant investment into the projects, which are of highest priority to our businesses and local areas, and this is the result of the strength of the partnership and commitment of everybody concerned, including our MPs.”
Geoff Miles, SELEP Vice Chair and Chair of Kent & Medway Economic Partnership, said: “This investment enables us to drive forward our shared growth agenda delivering economic growth, new jobs, facilitating housing, improving connectivity and boosting skills.
“The additional funding that will be leveraged into the South East as a result of these investments is testament to the continued success of our area.”
For more information on Growth Deal projects please visit www.southeastlep.com.
Jeremy Kite, Leader, Dartford Borough Council, said: “I am thrilled to finally hear the news of our bid that we have been waiting for. In truth, the high ranking given to this project is extremely welcome but it is no less than our team deserve. Working together the Council, MP and SELEP have created, supported and lobbied for a funding bid of the highest quality.
“Our strategic location and desirability for homes and business has turned Dartford into an area of high growth, but we have made the point repeatedly that the growth cannot be sustained without investment in infrastructure. Today’s announcement is the first of several we need that must include a practical resolution to the nightmare caused to our town by traffic on the M25.
“This investment will help fuel the transformation of our town centre – improving public spaces, helping create a new market square and allowing us to take a fresh look at the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. It is only one part of the jigsaw, but it is a major one nevertheless and I am both delighted and proud of our team. We have worked together with a single focus from Civic Centre to Westminster and it has paid dividends.”