Minister visits Westcott Venture Park to sign Growth Deal Agreement
Westcott Venture Park was delighted to welcome the Rt. Hon. Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Cabinet Office (Cities and Constitution) and Minister of State for Universities and Science, on Friday 9th January to sign the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (BTVLEP) Local Growth Deal that will trigger £44.2m worth of investment to increase prosperity and growth in the county.
The visit was also an opportunity for the Minister to see the exciting work being undertaken in the area of space propulsion and to experience a live demonstration of rocket propulsion from Airborne Engineering.
The development of Westcott Venture Park as a major space production hub was highlighted in BTVLEP's Buckinghamshire and Thames Valley Strategic Economic Plan (March 2014). In addition, Moog is in a unique position as UK's premier manufacturer of rockets and thrusters for space applications and the Westcott site has heritage in rocketry since 1946.
Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Rt. Hon. Greg Clark MP to Westcott Venture Park for the official signing of our Local Growth Deal, which marks a major milestone between Government and the BTVLEP to help facilitate the delivery of growth and prosperity for Buckinghamshire. Todays visit also allowed us to demonstrate some of the pioneering work taking place in the county in the area of space propulsion, an industry which employs over 7,500 people in Bucks.”
Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark said: “It's only right that the people of Buckinghamshire and the Thames Valley should be the architects of their own local growth. Through this Growth Deal we are ensuring that £73 million of investment is targeted at the issues that matter to them the most, like improving roads, skills training for young people and support for business.
“Devolving power from central government is a crucial element of our economic plan and an important step in building stronger, more prosperous, regional economies.”
The visit follows the submission of the BTVLEP Strategic Economic Plan proposal last March for a share of a £2bn pot of national money for the development of local jobs and business growth, and subsequent Local Growth Deal allocation in July of £44.2m.
The Buckinghamshire Growth Deal brings together local, national and private funding as well as new freedoms and flexibilities to focus on five key priority areas as identified in our Strategic Economic Plan, these are: improving north-south transport connectivity to accelerate the delivery of key housing and employment sites; improving the integration of transport links to CrossRail and East West Rail stations; investing in skills infrastructure and programmes to tackle welfare dependency and upskill young people; creating high quality private sector jobs by supporting businesses to grow; and addressing housing affordability and supply.
In developing the Growth Deal, BTVLEP identified a significant number of key deliverable projects in 2015-16. The projects which received Local Growth Fund support for are:
- Aylesbury Eastern Link Road and Stocklake Link Road scheme to complete and enhance transport infrastructure both North-South and East-West around Aylesbury, connecting new major development areas with the town centre and main road network.
- High Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan and Southern Quadrant Transport Strategy to accelerate delivery of the transport components of a masterplan to reconfigure the layout of High Wycombe town centre and to open up an area of land for employment use which will act as a key gateway to the town centre.
- A355 Improvement Scheme to improve North South Connectivity and connecting residual MOD land by developing the A355 Improvement Scheme.
- Transforming Amersham and Wycombe College Estate to modernise the buildings at the Amersham Centre to support curriculum development and quality improvement.
- 5G Testbed to stimulate growth in Buckinghamshire electronics and telecommunications sector through early access to 5G technologies.
- CrossRail and East West Connectivity projects to improve sustainable transport links to Crossrail stations in Taplow (linking Slough and Maidenhead); improving sustainable transport links to Crossrail stations in Iver; improving bus and cycle connections between Buckingham and the East West Rail in Winslow Station.
To read the Strategic Economic Plan & Local Growth Deal executive summary please go to http://www.buckstvlep.co.uk/strategic-economic-plan
Buckinghamshire is the Entrepreneurial Heart of Britain where, for well over a decade, more businesses have started here than anywhere else in the UK. This is borne of the heartbeat of enterprise, which is manifest in a propensity to act; and a propensity to successfully exploit new ideas. It is no accident that we are the Birthplace of the Paralympics at Stoke Mandeville, the creative film engine for James Bond and Star Wars at Pinewood Studios, and the joint home of the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.