Duncan welcomed the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Deal launched by Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable. The Coalition Government is committing to invest £129 million in our area between 2015 and 2021, including £12.8 million in 2015/16.
This Growth Deal will also unlock another £70 million of investment from local and private partners, bringing the total investment package for Swindon and Wiltshire up to £200 million. This investment will support up to 1,500 local jobs and allow up to 2,000 new homes to be built.
Further to the £18 million Government grant Duncan helped to secure to rebuild Wiltshire College’s Chippenham campus, today’s Growth Deal commits to developing a hub around Chippenham station. £16 million from the Coalition Government’s Local Growth Fund will be used to develop neighbouring land and connect public space and facilities with Chippenham station. This will include better car parking and links for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Growth Fund also includes a commitment to making the A350 Chippenham Bypass a dual carriageway with £7.1 million from the Local Growth Fund. This builds on the work that has already started on the A350 using the Pinch Point Fund set up by Liberal Democrats in Government, and Duncan warmly welcomes plans to extend this as far as the A4.
“I am pleased to see the Coalition Government making this large investment in Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s ambitious plans to build a stronger economy in our part of the country.
“Dualing the A350 around Chippenham will relieve congestion here and also help facilitate the development of a Higher Education centre and digital community in Corsham, but it is no substitute for an Oxford-Bristol rail service calling both at Chippenham and a re-opened Corsham station. I hope that the funding allocated to Swindon and Wiltshire beyond 2016 in this deal can play a part in making this happen.
“Investment in advanced manufacturing in Wiltshire and Swindon is welcome. We have a lot of industry and advanced engineering in the transport and automotive sector in this part of Wiltshire, and I’d like to see part of this commitment extend to ensuring local industry is competitive and energy-efficient too.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
“The Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Deal will create thousands of jobs, provide incredible new training opportunities for young people, build thousands of new homes and improve transport links across the country for people and their families; building a stronger economy and a fairer society.
“We’re placing the power and money in the hands of the people of Swindon and Wiltshire who know how to spend it best, making a real difference to local communities.”