Funding for Economic Growth: Alconbury Campus projects in new Growth Deal

07/07/2014

The local economy will be supported by an additional £21.1 million worth of investment next year thanks to the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Today (Monday 7th July 2014), Government has revealed the first allocations from their national Growth Pot, which will provide £2 billion of funding per year until 2020/2021 to a wide range of projects across the country, including two on Alconbury Enterprise Campus submitted via the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan.

The LEP has worked closely with partners to ensure that the £21.1 million unlocks a further £14.5 million from the private sector, £11 million of public funding and £41 million from future Growth Deals. Totalling £87.5 million of additional committed investment for our local area between 2015 and 2021.

Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, said: “All bar one of our top Growth Deal priorities have received funding, securing £21.1 million worth of investment from Government for our local area for the next financial year. This is good news for local businesses because it enables us to tackle some of the key issues holding back their growth. Only last month, Centre for Cities Small Business Outlook named Cambridge as the city with the largest number of small businesses investing in ‘high-growth’ strategies, and Peterborough as the city that creates the largest number of jobs per expanding SME, proving that we are ready to grow further.”

The investment will help to deliver over 3,000 new jobs and unlock land for more than 4,000 new homes to be built.

The two Alconbury Campus projects are:

  • New facilities for The Welding Institute (TWI) at Alconbury Weald Enterprise Campus – expanding TWI’s operation onto the Enterprise Zone to bring more high-skilled jobs, support the growth of businesses in high-tech sectors and act as a catalyst for further growth on the site
  • Technical & Vocational Centre at Alconbury Weald Enterprise Campus – developing a new Centre with a focus on the built environment and engineering technical expertise to support the development of the Enterprise Campus and sites across the whole LEP area

Nigel Hugill, Executive Chairman of Urban&Civic, owners and developers of Alconbury Enterprise Campus, said:

"This is wonderful news at every level. Leading edge advancement, combined with a relentless determination to innovate is what defines the region. These attributes could not have been articulated more clearly by LEP colleagues in successfully making the Growth Deal case. In our turn at Alconbury, we will work collaboratively to build the best research and testing facility for TWI and new vocational skills centre that we possibly can."

Professor Aamir Khalid, Director of Technology at TWI, said:

“We welcome the announcement that the Growth Deal includes an award for the launch of a leading-edge engineering test centre at the Alconbury Enterprise Campus.  The centre will allow full-scale testing and validation of large structures and components under supercritical conditions, supporting industry sectors including oil and gas, energy, aerospace and rail transport. The Alconbury facility will extend activities at TWI and the new National Structural Integrity Research Centre, and will further boost engineering research activity within the County.”

Other successful projects across the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough area include:

  • Cambridge Biomedical Innovation Centre – the creation of a new innovation centre to provide business space for small firms at the growing Cambridge Biomedical Campus next to Addenbrooke’s Hospital
  • Haverhill Innovation Centres – the development of a new centre at Haverhill Research Park to support business growth in the ICT, Bio-Tech and Agri-Tech sectors
  • Food Manufacturing and Processing Centre of Excellence at Peterborough Regional College – creation of a specialist food manufacturing education resource to train local people who wish to work in the industry
  • Agri-Tech Growth Initiative – a further £1.55 million of investment into this popular fund to support the growth of Agri-Tech businesses across the LEP area
  • Bourges Boulevard, Peterborough – investment in Phase Two of the upgrading of the busy Bourges Boulevard
  • A47 Junction 20 improvements, Peterborough - work to improve this key interchange to the north-east of Peterborough
  • King’s Dyke level crossing – improving access to Whittlesey by replacing the King’s Dyke level crossing to allow for major increases in rail use and reduce waiting times for motorists at the crossing
  • Wisbech Access Study – funding to undertake a detailed study into the transport improvements required to support the growth of Wisbech
  • Growth Hub – a new approach to business support designed to make it easier for businesses across the LEP area to access the advice and funding they need to grow. The investment will be used to provide both virtual support and face to face support

The LEP is also pleased to see investment being made into the Eastern Relief Road in Bury St Edmunds and the College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn, projects within the GCGP area that will be funded by New Anglia LEP’s Growth Deal that we also provided support for.

Mark Reeve added: “Having developed our Strategic Economic Plan alongside businesses and other key partners, we know that it holds the key to the future economic success of our area. Negotiations for the next round of funding will commence shortly, and we will be looking to Government to build upon this initial package with increased investment in the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough area to deliver a positive impact for not just our local economy, but for the national economy as a whole.”

The Growth Deal is the latest in a number of key investments secured for the local area including £20 million of annual funding for the Greater Cambridge area via the City Deal, £16.1 million worth of Growing Places Funding that is being actively reinvested in our local area, £3.2 million of Agri-Tech funding, and a future commitment of £1.5 billion to support the much needed upgrade to the A14.

You can find out more about the work of GCGP by visiting www.gcgp.co.uk.