Funding boost to create jobs and homes

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Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 12:09pm

By Carmelo Garcia - Local Democracy Reporter

More than 800 new jobs and 1,600 homes could be created after the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership secured £14m for shovel-ready projects to help the recovery of the regional economy.

Six projects in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin will benefit from the investment from the Getting Building Fund announced by the Government today.

The private sector-led partnership, which works with local councils and the area’s business boards to drive economic growth , said the funding would help the region bounce back from one of the most turbulent times in its history.

One of the biggest job-creating projects will see new integrated constructed wetlands created in the River Lugg area of Herefordshire to lower high levels of phosphate in surrounding land, allowing the development of employment and housing sites to go ahead. The project, which receives £1m, unlocks the potential for the creation of more than 1,300 homes in Herefordshire.

Two other Herefordshire projects will also benefit, with works to improve the city centre allocated £3m and NMITE a further £1.6m to develop campus facilities on Skylon Park, Hereford Enterprise Zone.

Shropshire Council’s Pride Hill remodelling project will receive £5m towards its total £16m cost, creating 100 jobs and a further 150 construction jobs. The scheme could see part of the shopping centre transformed to provide leisure facilities such as a cinema, gym or new food outlets.

Another £2.38m will go to a project developed by Telford & Wrekin, New College and Wrekin Housing Group to create new healthcare and residential units in Wellington, with another £1m for a Wrekin Housing Group project retrofitting homes with zero carbon technology to tackle fuel poverty.

Chair of the Marches LEP, Mandy Thorn MBE DL said: “This funding will not only help speed up work on existing projects which may have stalled due to coronavirus but will also see the launch of new schemes creating hundreds of homes and jobs.

“We have worked closely with our local authority partners and business boards to secure this £14m, which will also support the training and development of more than 300 new learners through the NMITE investment at Skylon Park and the zero carbon project at Telford College.”

The £14m is part of a nationwide ring-fenced fund of £900m announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the summer to enable local areas to invest in priority infrastructure projects to drive local growth and jobs.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP today confirmed 300 shovel ready projects which will benefit delivering up to 45,000 homes, create up to 85,000 jobs and reduce around 65 million kgs of CO2 emissions across England.

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