North Kesteven District Council has today (Thursday) been allocated £2 million to go towards the growth and regeneration of Sleaford.
The money has been awarded through the latest round of the Single Local Growth Fund administered through the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
The funding will assist the delivery of key highway improvements serving the Sleaford West Sustainable Urban Extension, Sleaford Enterprise Park and key access points to the town.
According an LEP spokesman, the £2m for what has been described as the Sleaford Growth Project will be for phase 1 of a scheme for housing, employment land, a school and other amenities on land between The Drove and the A15 bypass, involving the improvement of transport infrastructure through the creation of new roundabouts at key locations and improvements to existing roundabouts.
It is expected to unlock 300 new homes and 17,000 sqm of commercial floorspace, create or safeguard 400 jobs and attract £1.35 million in private sector funding.
An NKDC spokesman said: “This is fantastic news for Sleaford and it will ensure the accelerated delivery of new housing, new employment space and new jobs in the town.
“The funding will enable aspirations as set out in the Sleaford Masterplan to be delivered, enabling the town to accommodate future growth in line with the emerging Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.
“As a district council we are delighted at the success of this funding bid which shows great confidence in the ability of the authority to deliver major infrastructure and capital projects.
“The council will review infrastructure priorities within the Sleaford Masterplan to maximise the impact of the investment announced today.”
Alan Gray, NKDC Economic Development Manager, said: “The funding will enable work to begin on the first phase of improving the local road network to allow new housing, employment land and jobs to be delivered, in accordance with the specific requirements of the Single Local Growth Fund award.
“The above improvements are a key element in the delivery of growth for Sleaford and in delivering the aspirations outlined in the Sleaford Masterplan and the emerging Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.
“This funding will enable the authority to lever in additional private sector investment in the town which could allow additional project work to be delivered in the town centre to support it to meet the requirements of future growth.
“The recent funding announcement will therefore allow planning to commence on the first phase of works which in turn would open the way for further funding bids to bring, amongst other things, town centre improvements.”
The latest round of Local Growth Funding (also known as the Growth Deal) also provides money for a new Centre for Health Science at the University of Lincoln, support for the establishment of three Food Enterprise Zones in Holbeach, Hemswell Cliff and Grimsby and a Skills Capital Programme across Greater Lincolnshire.
Other projects will also benefit which aim to improve educational attainment, create jobs, build homes or improve infrastructure.
This latest award of Local Growth Funding is in addition to £126.06 million of growth-related money already awarded to the Greater Lincolnshire LEP since July 2014. The total funding allocation could help to create or safeguard over 7,300 jobs, build 7,500 homes and attract £186 million in additional private sector investment over the next 10 years.
Local Growth Minister Andrew Percy MP said: “This latest £29.45 million funding will make a real difference to people in Greater Lincolnshire. As well as creating new jobs and supporting businesses, we’re investing in the next generation with a new skills programme to improve access to further education. It will give young people the tools they need to reach their potential.
“It is further proof that we will back the people of Greater Lincolnshire with resources to get the region firing on all cylinders, now and in years to come.”
The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has been negotiating with the Government and co-ordinating funding bids. Its chairman, Ursula Lidbetter, said: “I am delighted to announce with Government today that the Greater Lincolnshire LEP has secured a further £29.45 million in Growth Deal funding for our area.
“This announcement marks a further step in the growth of our economy and is an endorsement of our Strategic Economic Plan. In every experience I have had of backing local people and local initiatives, the results have exceeded expectations.
“Our LEP will be focusing closely on the schemes announced today and on delivering our growth promises.”
As well as the three major schemes getting the lion’s share of the money, other schemes to benefit are:
Gainsborough Growth Project (£4m)
Junction improvements on the A46 around Lincoln (£2.5m)
A17 Sutterton Roundabout Pinch Point Scheme (£1m)
Sleaford Growth Project (£2m)
Advanced Engineering Research and Development Centre, Lincoln (£1.95m)
Today’s announcement brings total Growth Deal funding secured for Greater Lincolnshire since July 2014 to £155.45 million.
Coun Colin Davie, Executive Member for Economic Development at Lincolnshire County Council and Greater Lincolnshire LEP board member, said: “This money will mean new jobs, new houses and new infrastructure for Lincolnshire.
“We’ve been tirelessly making the case that Lincolnshire is a good place to invest and produces a great return on that investment. The Government clearly supports that message.
“I think the investment in the new centre for health science is also critically important, especially in light of the health challenges faced across such a large, rural county. If we are to realise our vision for health and care in Greater Lincolnshire, we need to develop further training facilities. This project is very much a step in the right direction.
“Together with the other planned projects, these schemes will drive growth across Lincolnshire, cementing our place within the Midlands Engine and ensuring a prosperous future for our county.”