Local Growth Fund - increasing prosperity and growth

 

Bucks is a significant wealth generator for the UK economy, and the commitment of over £73m in Local Growth Funds is unleashing ambition and creativity in the county. This funding is enabling the delivery of new road and rail infrastructure, better skills and business opportunities and enhancing digital connectivity to support sustainable economic growth in Bucks.

 

Our Growth Deal brings together local, national and private funding as well as delivery of key priority areas identified in our Strategic Economic Plan.

 

A summary of the individual projects being supported through the Local Growth Deal are listed below.

 

Project summaries and progress updates:

 

High Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan & Southern Quadrant Transport Scheme

The implementation of the High Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan will strengthen the role of the Town Centre as the focus for employment, shopping and leisure activities. A key component of the Masterplan is an alternative southern transport route around the town centre, which will deliver a more attractive town centre, better connecting old and new developments, supporting environmental improvements including the potential restoration of the River Wye in the heart of the town. The full business case for supporting this project was approved by the BTVLEP Board in May 2016 allocating £8.48m of Local Growth Funding for this project.  For further details click: High Wycombe town centre master plan.

 

A4 Sustainable Travel Scheme

The A4 Cycle and Bus Route improvement project, also known as the A4 Bath Road Sustainable Travel project, aims to improve cycling access to a number of rail stations in the South Bucks area serving the Cross-rail service, including Taplow and Burnham stations. The scheme also incorporates elements of bus infrastructure improvements, to help encourage bus-rail connectivity and to reduce car usage. The full business case for this project was approved by the BTVLEP board in September 2016 and public consultation on the proposals was undertaken in Autumn 2016. £1.53m of Local Growth Funding is allocated to this project. For further details click: A4 Sustainable Transport Scheme.

 

A413 Sustainable Travel Scheme

The A413 Sustainable Travel scheme will introduce 9km of new shared cycle and footway corridor that interconnects the towns of Buckingham and Winslow - the site of the proposed new railway station for East West Rail. This scheme will also upgrade existing bus stops in Buckingham with real-time passenger information and Wi-Fi accessibility. The full business case for this project was approved by the BTVLEP board in March 2016 approving £2.21m of Local Growth Funding for the development of this scheme. Construction of this new facility commenced in June 2016 and is due for completion in January 2017 For further details click: A413 Sustainable Travel Scheme.

 

Iver Sustainable Travel Scheme

The scheme aims to encourage sustainable travel to minimise the local impact of increased use of Iver Station (due to Crossrail) by improving multi-modal connectivity, through providing a cycleway between Iver Village and Iver station. A wider review, funded by High Speed 2, of the impact of national infrastructure in the Iver area is currently underway and will support the development of masterplan proposals which would incorporate this project.  For further details click: Iver Sustainable Travel Scheme.

 

A355 Improvement Scheme

The A355 provides the main north-south route in the county connecting Amersham and the A413 to the north and Beaconsfield and the M40 to the south. The improvements will reduce congestion and improve journey times on this key connection to the M40, as well as improving north/south transport connectivity to promote economic growth across Buckinghamshire. The full business case for this project was approved by the BTVLEP board in May 2016 allocating £6.05m to this project. Planning permission was sought in November 2016 and construction for the new road is due to be undertaken from early 2018 with completion due in March 2019.  For further details click: A355 Improvement Scheme.

 

Aylesbury Eastern Link Road (Southern) and Stocklake Link (Rural)

The aim of these transport schemes is to manage traffic capacity on the highway network, to enhance public transport provision and advance the wider regeneration of the East of Aylesbury in order to drive economic growth and development. These schemes also form part of a wider highway network strategy to provide key link roads, which promote both North-South regional connectivity, linking Milton Keynes to the North and the M25 and London in the South, as well as orbital traffic movements around Aylesbury rather than through the town centre. Work on the Stocklake link road was completed in Spring 2017. The planning application for the Eastern Link road has been submitted to Aylesbury Vale District Council and will be considered alongside the Woodlands Major Development area proposals in summer 2017. For further details click: Aylesbury Eastern Link Road (Southern) and Stocklake Link (Rural).

 

Transforming Amersham and Wycombe College’s Estate

The Further Education sector is vital in delivering the skills pipeline needed to keep the economy of Buckinghamshire buoyant. The College aims to provide its learners with an outstanding learning experience and the transformation of the facilities at its Amersham and Flackwell Heath campuses will help deliver this objective. New facilities provided and supported by the £2.69m Local Growth Funding will include a media suite and online training facilities at the Amersham site, a new technical and construction trades facility at the Flackwell Heath campus, and new sporting facilities at both sites. Work is now completed on the sporting facilities and progress is well underway on developing the classroom and construction facilities. For further details click: Transforming Amersham and Wycombe College’s Estate.

 

National Film and Television School Digital Content Hub

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) in Beaconsfield is globally recognised as the best film and TV school in the world with its graduates regularly featuring on the Oscar and Bafta awards lists. £1.5m of BTVLEPs funding is being used to build a new Digital Content Production Training Studio which will be one of the most advanced dedicated training facilities in the UK and will have the ability to shoot, record and stream live content in high definition 4k. Following approval by the BTVLEP board construction work began in July 2016, progress has been swift with the new facilities due to open in 2017.  For further details click: National Film and Television School Digital Content Hub. 

 

Westcott Incubation Centre & 5G Testbed

The Westcott Venture Park is one of three sites in Buckinghamshire that has secured Enterprise Zone status. The vision for the park is to be a globally leading centre in the field of space and satellite propulsion, building on the rich heritage of rocket technologies at the site. BTVLEP alongside the UK Space Agency are investing in a new National Centre for Satellite Applications, including a new Innovation/Incubation Centre and training hub for the next generation of technicians, scientists and engineers working in this field and helping develop the links between businesses and academia in this high growth sector. The BTVLEP board approved £2m towards this project at their meeting in September 2016 with construction on this new facility expected to commence in 2017. For further details click: Westcott Incubation Centre & 5G Testbed.

 

A further £600k of LGF funding was approved by the BTVLEP board in March 2016 to develop a 5G testbed at the Westcott Venture Park site to provide a test site for the development of unmanned automated vehicles and their ability to transmit data over a 5G network. The development of this facility will also provide access to this resource for businesses using the incubation centre.

 

Aylesbury Training Group Technical Skills Project

£93,500 was approved by the BTVLEP board in May 2016 to enable the Aylesbury Training Group to purchase specialist new engineering equipment to develop its programme of training services for its nationally renowned cycle training programme from its Aylesbury base. The equipment has been used to help the group establish the UK’s first technicians course for e-bike maintenance. For further details click:  Aylesbury Training Group Technical Skills Project.

 

SME Access to Finance Programme

£2m from our Local Growth Deal 2 programme has been allocated to a finance programme for small businesses in Buckinghamshire. We are currently completing the impletion of an ex-ante assessment of a financial instrument to enable to develop an SME Loan/Equity Fund using the identified Local Growth Funds together with additional Growing Places Fund investment.   

 

Marlow/Maidenhead Rail

£1.7m of Local Growth Funding has been allocated to this scheme which is at GRIP3 in the Network Rail development process and Great Western Railway have signed an partnership agreement with Network Rail, to support them deliver their forward programme of rail improvements.

 

Connected Counties Project

£675,000 of Local Growth Funding is being utilised as part of the Broadband delivery programme in Buckinghamshire. The first phase of this programme saw more than 45,000 homes and businesses in Buckinghamshire given the capacity to connect to super-fast broadband services. With a further 10,000 properties due to be connected in 2017/18, the broadband coverage levels in the county are set to exceed 95%, with further plans being developed to provide universal coverage and higher speeds of delivery to key employment locations. For further details click: Roll-out of second phase of superfast broadband for Bucks.

 

 

Over the lifetime of the Deal (2015-2021) Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 5,000 new jobs could be created, 600 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £40m public and private investment.

 

 

BTVLEP will publish Business Cases and Independent Evaluations for projects supported by our local growth fund schemes, within the reports section on this website, and would welcome comments on these assessments. If you have any questions or would like to comment on any project please e-mail:  info@buckstvlep.co.uk .

 

 

Useful links:

 

Strategic Economic Plan Refresh Download 

 

Strategic Economic Plan & Local Growth Deal (Full Version) Download