Bury St Edmunds: Bid for £6m is ‘crucial’ part of council’s plans for growth
PUBLISHED: 10:50 26 June 2014 | UPDATED: 10:58 26 June 2014
A decision on a £6million funding pot that could unlock up to 15,000 new jobs, 500 new homes and a new secondary school in Bury St Edmunds is due to be made next month.
The New Anglia local enterprise partnership (LEP) has bid for the money from the Government to fund a significant chunk of the £15m eastern relief road on Moreton Hall.
New Anglia has already stumped up £4m for the project through its Local Transport Body, and LEP representatives came to Bury last week for meetings with St Edmundsbury Borough Council ahead of the Government’s decision.
Council leader John Griffiths said: “This bid is a crucial part of our plans for the economic, and sustainable, growth in west Suffolk and Bury St Edmunds over the next few years. We have an increasingly prosperous economy and low unemployment. But businesses are crying out for more employment land – and our population, and the need for better infrastructure, is set to grow dramatically over the next 20 years.
“That is why we, together with New Anglia LEP, have been working very hard to gain financial support for this scheme and are confident that we will be able to secure the remaining £5m should this bid prove successful.”
Building the relief road between Skyliner Way and the A14 would pave the way for the expansion of the Suffolk Business Park onto 68 hectares of land. It would also create 14,000 to 15,000 new jobs, as well as allowing the proposed masterplan for Moreton Hall to take place, which includes 500 new homes, a secondary school, retail centre and a new home for Bury Town Football Club.
The project, which could be completed within three years, could also attract as much as £275m investment into the area.
Last Thursday’s meeting also saw New Anglia meet with local businesses and West Suffolk College to discuss funding for its proposed engineering and innovation technology centre.
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said Thursday’s visit “underlines our determination to make the compelling case for more investment in projects like the Eastern Relief Road”.