The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Ltd. (LLEP) has received £20 million from the government’s Getting Building Fund which will be allocated to four key infrastructure projects.
On 30 June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined plans to “get Britain building again.” The proposals put forward to form what he termed a “new deal” for the UK economy, with infrastructure projects at its centre and a national budget of £900 million
The LLEP allocation of funding was £20 million to be allocated to “shovel ready” projects within the LLEP’s existing project proposal pipeline which were in line with economic priorities and which would also contribute to the post-COVID economic recovery.
Following an appraisal process, the LLEP Board of Directors recommended that the following projects should be funded, and this has now been confirmed by the government:
St. Margaret’s Regeneration Gateway (£10.5m)
The scheme will provide essential public realm infrastructure to support a new community in this part of the city; high-quality connections between development sites and the city centre; and regeneration stimulus in the form of a renewed bus station at the heart of the area, which will indirectly accelerate the delivery of stalled sites. (see above artists impression)
SportPark Pavilion 4 at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (£6m)
The scheme will provide: 2,000 sqm of new floor space, which will support the creation of 165 jobs, and a further 157 jobs in the wider economy; and stimulation of demand to bring sports-related businesses to the region, which will play a role in realising the ambition to create a global sports hub.
J23 M1 A512 Access Improvements (£1.8m)
The scheme will provide an upgrade of 2.5km of single carriageway road to dual carriageway; the remodelling of five A512 junctions and improvements to M1 junction 23; access to a significant new area for housing and economic development; and improved access to Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park, which will aid delivery at the science park and benefit the wider economy.
Charles Street Transport Hub (part) (£1.7m)
This scheme will: create strong links between the railway station and Leicester’s two bus stations, which will assist with sustainable travel into and across the city; create a gateway to the city centre that will enhance important links to the Cultural Quarter regeneration area; improve access to work, leisure and tourist destinations across the city centre; make improvements to Leicester’s public realm.
The four projects were chosen based on their impact on the region’s economic growth, both in the short and long-term, and their strategic fit to current economic priorities.
Kevin Harris is Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors. He said:
“We are delighted to receive this investment for Leicester and Leicestershire.
“These projects will start to transform the future infrastructure of our city and county very quickly. Our over-arching aims will be to help get business moving again, to kick start our economy and to increase prosperity for all who live and work in Leicester and Leicestershire.”
Professor Tracy Bhamra, Loughborough University Pro-Vice Chancellor for Enterprise said: “SportPark already has the highest concentration of the sports sector’s governing bodies and national organisations so its expansion is a natural step to create a vibrant focal point for the global sports hub. A growing number of sports innovation businesses have launched at or relocated to Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP), attracted to the collaborative environment and access the University’s world-leading expertise in sports science, engineering, health and well-being and high-performance athlete base.
“LUSEP is already one of the most accessible science parks in the UK, located one mile from Junction 23 of the M1. The road improvements will create a further access point, even closer to M1. This is particularly welcome news as LUSEP’s expansion continues, as part of the Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone.”
Deputy City Mayor for Environment and Transportation Cllr Adam Clarke said: “This is very good news for Leicester. The St Margaret’s area of the city has great potential for large-scale regeneration, with the opportunity to attract further private investment and create a high-quality public realm to connect with the city centre. This investment will also give us the chance to replace a worn-out bus station with a new, modern and efficient building that will signal the beginning of the revival of this part of our city.
“The Charles Street transport hub will allow us to continue our work providing high-quality cycling and pedestrian routes that link the railway station to the city centre. As part of an integrated package of works over the next few years, it will help to transform the station as a gateway to our city.”
Nick Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council, said: “Today’s announcement is another important milestone in our plans to drive growth across Leicestershire. It’s encouraging news during what has been a very difficult time for the area due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This Government funding towards the scheme recognises the work we are doing across the authority to improve and construct new roads before housing is built, which alleviates congestion by creating extra capacity on the network. This scheme is also key to support jobs with commercial developments also planned.”
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