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Enterprise M3, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the M3 corridor, today announced it has awarded £9.24million in Local Growth Fund funding to three skills centres in Brockenhurst, Ashford (Surrey) and Andover that will help both grow the skills base and deliver new jobs for the Enterprise M3 area.

The funding is part of a Growth Deal of £118.1m secured for the area by Enterprise M3 in July. A further announcement in late January of £29.9m in Local Growth Funds now means that the pot earmarked for economic growth stands at £148m. This Government investment is being used by the LEP to fund to a range of infrastructure projects which will bring forward up to 4,000 new homes, create up to 7,000 new jobs, attract up to £410million new public and private sector investment into the area and improve transport links within and between key towns in Surrey and Hampshire.

The three skills centres to receive funding in 2015/16 are:

STEM Advancement Project at Brockenhurst College

This project is an extensive programme of new-build and refurbishment.  It will improve and extend facilities for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.  It will create a state-of-the-art, innovative learning provision utilising new technologies developed by IBM to ensure success at all levels.  This world-class provision will also increase recruitment and retention within STEM subjects at the college. 

It is anticipated that the project will lead to 75 new apprenticeships and create 40 new construction jobs. 

Enterprise M3 has awarded this project £3.7 million of Local Growth Fund funding with the balance of £1.91 million being funded by IBM and Brockenhurst College. The total cost of the project is £5.61 million.

Di Roberts CBE, Principal of Brockenhurst College said: “We are delighted that the Enterprise M3 LEP has chosen to invest in STEM skills and training at Brockenhurst College. This investment will enable the College to build a state of the art STEM Centre of Excellence in partnership with IBM, bringing the latest technologies and learning environments to students from across Hampshire and beyond. This is an important project that will have a significant impact on the quality of STEM skills and training, inspiring young people to pursue careers in STEM sectors and supporting local businesses and the overall economy of the region.”

The Advantage Project at Brooklands College

The project will create a total of 2,340m2 of new college facilities in Ashford.  The new facilities will be on the current high street frontage of the existing site and on the site of nearby Thomas Knyvett College. The project will allow the development of skills needed locally and across the Enterprise M3 area, including ICT/digital, professional and business services, cyber-security, entertainment technologies and construction. The project will also release five acres of brownfield land for residential development within the town centre of Ashford. 

It is anticipated that the project will lead to 80 new apprenticeships, 30 new higher apprenticeships and will unlock a potential housing site in the Ashford area.

Enterprise M3 has awarded this project £3.2 million of Local Growth Fund funding. The total cost of the project is £9.6 million with the balance being funded through the proceeds from the disposal of the old Ashford campus site.

Maureen Kilminster, the Principal of Brooklands College, commented: "We are delighted that our LEP funding request has been successful and we are now in the process of prioritising which areas the money will be spend on to ensure maximum benefit for students and their future employment opportunities."

Andover Skills & Technology Centre

The project’s aim is to construct a new 2000m2 Technology and Skills Centre with purpose built areas for engineering, electrical engineering, motor vehicle, construction and wood trades.  These new facilities are in sectors where the local economy has skills gaps and supports employability measures which will help achieve the education, learning and skills potential in Andover. 

It is anticipated that the project will lead to 81 new apprenticeships, 34 new higher apprenticeships and the creation of 36 new jobs.

Enterprise M3 has awarded this project £2.64 million of Local Growth Fund funding with the balance being funded by private sector investment, Hampshire County Council and Test Valley Borough Council. The total cost of the project is £6.45 million.

Andover College Principal Tim Jackson said: “We are extremely pleased to have received so much backing for our bid to build a new Technology Centre at the Andover Campus. The support from the Enterprise M3 LEP, Hampshire County Council and Test Valley Borough Council has enabled us to invest in the expansion of the College as we continue to grow our student numbers.  The new Technology Centre will also allow us to develop our range of courses to meet the needs of local employers and provide young people and adults with essential skills.”

Geoff French, Chair of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, commented:  “The Board of Enterprise M3 LEP is delighted to approve £9.24 million of funding from our Local Growth Deal to both improve and grow the skills base in Andover, Brockenhurst and Ashford in Surrey.

“By making significant investment in state of the art science, technology, engineering and maths facilities such as these, we are ensuring that the young people in the Enterprise M3 area have access to excellent teaching accommodation and are provided with the skills which the hi-tech businesses in our area require in order to remain competitive in the global market.”


Notes to Editor

For media enquiries please contact Alex Williams, Enterprise M3 Communications Manager: / 07976 703768

Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership

Enterprise M3 is a business-led Local Enterprise Partnership that 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.

The Enterprise M3 area stretches from the hinterland of London to the New Forest. It covers four Growth Towns – Woking, Guildford, Farnborough and Basingstoke, the city of Winchester, and five Step-up Towns: Camberley, Staines-upon-Thames, Whitehill & Bordon, Andover and Aldershot.

Enterprise M3 has been awarded an £148m Growth Deal from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. This funding will support economic growth in the Enterprise M3 area and see investment in key infrastructure projects across Surrey and Hampshire, capitalising on the skills and innovation in the Sci:Tech corridor.