The leader of South Kesteven District Council says she is thrilled by a £16 million funding boost for Grantham’s southern relief road.
Coun Linda Neal was responding to the news that the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will receive a £40 million funding boost – with a further £27.5m earmarked for the future - with the relief road being one of six major projects in the county to benefit.
Coun Neal said: “This road project is key to our ambitious and creative growth plans for Grantham and this funding success is a very welcome and positive boost. We have recently heard that major retailer Marks & Spencer is returning to the town after a four-year absence and we expect to be able to anounce more great news for the town shortly.”
Work on the road between Somerby Hill and the A1 is due to begin next year and be completed by 2017. A further £27.48 million has been earmarked for spending in 2016-17 subject to additional information and approval and Grantham College could receive £2.28 million as part of that deal.
Ursula Lidbetter, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, which has been negotiating with Whitehall and Cities Minister Greg Clarke to secure the deal, said; “The major investment that has been secured for Grantham by local partners working together will really help us to deliver our ambitions to grow the economy in Greater Lincolnshire and attract new business and employment opportunities to our main towns.”
Coun Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The road will form a key part of the wider masterplan for Grantham, which will lead to around 3,500 new houses as well as new schools, medical facilities and employment opportunities. It will also help to reduce traffic congestion in the town centre and improve transport links to the rest of the country. That’s good news for local residents and local businesses.”
The southern relief road will deliver a new 3km distribution road that will link a new junction to the A1 with the A52 at Somerby Hill, bridging the Witham valley. The new route will provide direct access to the new King31 Distribution Centre on the A1, which has planning consent for 120,000 sq metres of new industrial floorspace and is forecast to generate over 1,000 new permanent jobs in the area over the next six years.
Eleven hectares (27 acres) of new employment land to the east of the town will be opened up. It is hoped this new business park will allow local firms to expand into larger premises and take on new employees and also increase the ability of the area to attract new businesses investment to the area by offering employment sites with good transport links and a growing population that can provide a pool of locally available labour for new and growing companies.
The relief road will also enable the delivery of the Spitalgate Heath development, that will provide 3,500 new homes over the next 25 years.
The Government’s Growth Deal, which the LEP and its partners have been negotiating for nine months, will give Greater Lincolnshire new resources and powers to build infrastructure, create jobs and train local people.
“The deal we have secured represents a major boost to our economy,” said Ursula Lidbetter, “We have worked very hard to achieve this very positive outcome in the face of some stiff competition from other regions. From the moment we were invited by Government to put together our strategic economic plan, we worked with our local partners to develop our assets and address our key economic challenges across Greater Lincolnshire before outlining the proposals that will bring about sustained economic growth.
“Not only will the Growth Deal support job creation, it will also improve our skills base and allow us to invest in our infrastructure to meet the economic needs of the future.”
Coun Hill said: “We put in a strong bid with a range of exciting projects which demonstrate Lincolnshire’s potential for growth. And the size of this investment clearly shows that we’ve convinced Government that the county is a good place to do business.
“I’m particularly pleased with the significant contribution towards Grantham’s southern relief road, which will be of real benefit to the town both in easing congestion and driving economic growth.
“We can now focus on bringing all these ambitious plans to fruition, helping to both safeguard and create jobs locally.”
The Growth Deal was a nationally competitive process. The funding award covers a two-year period from 2015-16 and will focus on investment in six key projects.
Overall the projects will create 1,857 new jobs, deliver 2,300 new houses and lever in an additional £94 million in investment.
The other successful projects are:
Boston Quadrant – £4.75 million
Boole Technology Centre, Lincoln – £3.38 million
Unlocking Rural Housing – £4.13 million
Bishop Burton College – £7.5 million
Skegness Countryside Business Park (including western relief road) – £4 million