AN economic development partnership has decided to invest £4million in the Silverstone racing circuit.
The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) is doling out £18.7million to six projects in in its area, which includes Milton Keynes, Bedford, Aylesbury and Luton.
Silverstone, near Milton Keynes and Buckingham, is seen as one of the most important economic assets in southern England and a Master Plan to develop it could see the creation of around 8,400 permanent jobs in the longer term and around 550 construction jobs each year over the 20 year development phase.
SEMLEP, based at the Innovation Centre, in Cranfield, is a business-led partnership which was given £18m from the government’s Growing Places Fund. The aim of the fund is to boost the economic development by creating new jobs, infrastructure and homes.
Marston Vale Innovation Park in Bedfordshire will receive £2.5m for highway works and utilities to bring forward a £200m development, creating 1,600 jobs focussed on manufacturing and engineering, along with 500 homes, over the next 10 years.
£3million has also been allocated to the final phase of Bedford Western Bypass, subject to funding being available following an analysis of cash flow within the fund.
Dr Ann Limb chairs SEMLEP and said “The allocation of Growing Places Fund resources is an important step for SEMLEP. All of these projects will contribute significantly to economic growth in the area. The nature of the fund means that we will be able to invest in more projects in the future”.
The SEMLEP board has also decided to invest £7m for projects within the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone to help create thousands of new jobs there. Some £2million is also being put into a housing development near Kettering. Another project being supported aims to create zero energy homes in Corby.