The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has confirmed the award of £71.1 million to Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as the third allocation of Growth Deal fund - totalling £219.1 million. The latest allocation will be used to fund housing, transport, skills development, as well as enterprise and innovation projects across the LEP area, which stretches from the hinterlands of London - through South & West Surrey and North Hampshire, to New Forest.
This Growth Deal allocation has the potential to create and safeguard more than 15,000 jobs and deliver over 6,000 additional homes. Planned investment in transport will ease traffic congestion in Basingstoke and Guildford, while businesses in some of the LEP area will benefit from investments in digital connectivity. The latest Growth Deal allocation will also fund investments in further education colleges to help local workforce develop the skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive market.
Geoff French, CBE, Chair of Enterprise M3 LEP said:
"We are delighted to have secured an additional £71.1 million on top of the £148 million received in earlier Growth Deals. This investment will create further opportunities for new housing sites and business premises, as well as reducing congestion and improving connectivity. Cyber security is a major risk to our economy and investment in a centre focussed on addressing these issues will be a key project. We have made remarkable progress in supporting initiatives that attract and support local and international businesses to innovate and grow and we will continue to build on this success."
Geoff French went on to emphasise the importance of developing skills to support growth. "We are working closely with our colleges to make sure that investments are made to equip our future workforce with the skills needed by businesses to support the drive for improved productivity."
Previous Growth Deal awards to Enterprise M3 have been invested in projects including 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, which has put UK at the forefront of next generation mobile communication. Other key projects from earlier allocations, include Enterprise M3 Growth Hub - established to support local businesses.
Kathy Slack, OBE, Director, Enterprise M3 said:
“Our investments are critical to the economic future and quality of life in our LEP area, and we are proud to see that the projects we have invested in so far, are on course to help unlock more than 4000 new homes, as well as, create and safeguard about 7000 jobs.”
“This Growth Deal award, underscores our ambition for economic progress in our LEP area and reinforces our commitment to drive innovation and sustain a thriving business environment that sits at the heart of the UK’s digital industrial strategy.”
About Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership - www.enterprisem3.org.uk
Enterprise M3 is a business-led Local Enterprise Partnership, one of 38 in England, which is working to secure economic growth at sub-national level. We bring together leaders from the business, public and not-for-profit sectors and provide the vision, knowledge and strategic leadership needed to drive sustainable private sector growth.
Our aim is to create the foundations on which our businesses can flourish. We strive to improve business productivity, increase jobs and maximise the number of businesses operating across Enterprise M3. We have a particular focus on improving trade links working with Invest in Surrey and Invest in Hampshire.
The Enterprise M3 LEP area stretches from the hinterland of London to the New Forest covering mid to north Hampshire and South West Surrey. The LEP area brings together business leaders from 14 district authorities across two counties and has four major interconnected urban centres known as ‘Growth’ towns: Woking, Guildford, Farnborough and Basingstoke and five ‘Step-up’ towns: Staines-upon-Thames, Camberley, Aldershot, Whitehill and Bordon and Andover.
The councils involved in the Enterprise M3 LEP are:
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