Growth deal means good news for Thames Valley

The Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) today agreed an historic Growth Deal with the Government, which will see £96.9million invested in Thames Valley Berkshire. £17million has been confirmed in the first year, while an indicative award of a further £79.9million has been allocated from 2016/17 onwards. The deal will create up to 17,000 jobs, 10,000 homes and leverage a further £20million in public and private investment.

The key features of the deal are:

  • Delivery of essential housing at flagship sites in Newbury, Wokingham and Bracknell to help young people across the area get on the property ladder.
  • A package of road and public transport investments to improve connectivity and reduce journey times across the area. This means the people of Thames Valley Berkshire will benefit from faster journey times and better access to key business locations.
  • Three new ‘Solutions Labs’, which will equip our young people with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills needed to support our tech-focused business base and the new Thames Valley Science Park. It will also bring businesses, FE Colleges and students together to shape curricula so that they are aligned with the needs of tech-based businesses.

Thames Valley Berkshire LEP has also landed £250k funding for continuation of the Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub, which is a crucial source of advice and expertise for the area’s SMEs and micro businesses.

The Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Deal is part of a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies. The deals are the latest example of the British economy being rebuilt from the bottom up, and sharing the benefits of the recovery around the country. Local businesses and council leaders have been invited to open discussions immediately on the next set of projects to be funded, building on the momentum that has been established.

Rob Wilson, MP for Reading East, said of the transport initiatives: “This is a big boost to a better connected Reading. If Reading is to retain its status as an engine room of growth it needs excellent links to London, Heathrow and the surrounding areas. It is hugely welcome that the LEP and Department for Transport are willing to work to deliver a Third Thames Bridge, as it is desperately needed in Reading. Likewise linking Reading and the surrounding area more closely with Heathrow and London will make us more attractive to businesses and will be a further spur to growth”

Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West said: “I have pressed Ministers both on the floor of the House and privately to ensure a fair deal for the Thames Valley. I am particularly pleased at the confirmation of funding for the railway station at Green Park business park in my constituency as well as funding for local ‘Solutions Labs’ to assist with growing the STEM skill base and enhancing business support.”

Last modified on Monday, 07 July 2014 10:20