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Essex: 29k job boost for north Essex in council blueprint

County Hall, Chelmsford

County Hall, Chelmsford

A growth blueprint for north Essex hopes to create more than 29,000 jobs in the next seven years.

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Senior councillors at County Hall are today debating an Economic Plan for Essex.

It sets out Essex County Council’s strategy for what investment is needed to grow the economy and will form the basis for ongoing negotiations with the government over funding for projects.

The economic plan is the next step after the South East Local Enterprise Partnership submitted a funding bid last month, and builds on a transport wish-list approved earlier this year.

A final financial settlement from the government is expected in late July.

Overall for the county the ultimate plan hopes to provide more than 117,745 new jobs and more than 81,310 new homes by 2021.

Across the Haven Gateway area, covering Braintree, Colchester and Tendring, combined investment from local authorities, private sector partners and the government, could lead to 29.075 new jobs and 32,246 new homes.

County Hall is asking the Treasury for £133.3million from the Single Local Growth Fund for Haven Gateway to boost £47.6m from county, district and borough councils and £68.6m in external funding.

The money would then be expected to leverage a further £90.9m of private sector investment.

Introducing the document Kevin Bentley, deputy leader and councillor for economic growth and infrastructure, said: “Economic growth is our top priority – our county’s future depends upon securing sustainable growth for our businesses and communities.

“This will not just help our businesses and communities to prosper, it will support the public finances by generating a return on our investments and allowing us to continue to support those who are entitled to expect our help.

“This document shows how, with support we are seeking from Government, we would accelerate growth over the next seven years.

“We are not starting from scratch but we can and must do more. Business as usual is not enough.”

Among the projects in north Essex which will help achieve the growth targets are the Tendring Europark scheme at Horsley Cross off the A120, which will cost £20m to deliver and is being driven by Croland Ltd, delivering superfast broadband to business parks in Colchester which will support 258 jobs, and the Panfield Lane development in west Braintree creating 1122 jobs and 541 homes.

Other suggestions made in the Economic Plan for Essex include calling for some powers of the Highways Agency to be devolved to councils where they can see projects through, and funding for an integrated business support unit for the county.

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