Member News & Events



Up to £8m EU funding available for growth and jobs in Dorset

A new round of funding calls via the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has now been launched, with up to £8m available for projects to support growth and jobs in Dorset.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to improve economic and social cohesion in the European Union by focusing its investments on areas such as innovation, research, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The fund forms part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) – the EU’s main funding programmes for supporting growth and jobs across the EU – which is managed locally by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The latest calls include funding for projects to in research & innovation, SME support and a support towards a low carbon economy in Dorset. A minimum value of £500,000 of funding can be applied for in all calls.

FREE Information event

Thursday 1 November, 08:30 – 11:30am, The Brewery, Blandford Saint Mary

Dorset LEP is holding a free ‘ERDF Information Event’ to help prospective applicants get to grips with the latest funding opportunities and what is needed for a successful ERDF application.

The session will focus on the three ERDF calls in:

  • Research & innovation – up to £2m
  • SME support – up to £2.5m
  • Low carbon – up to £3.5m

1-2-1 technical assistance will be available.

REGISTER NOW HERE. Registrations will close at 5pm on Thursday 25 October or when full – whichever is the sooner.

Lorna Carver, Dorset LEP Director said: “Around £54m has already been allocated to projects and enterprises across the county as part of an overall £80m ESIF programme for Dorset. The launch of these three new funding calls is great news for the local economy and we encourage prospective applicants to come along to our information event to find out more and access the free support available to bid for funding.”

Further information about the ERDF funding calls is available here. The closing date for all calls is 23 November 2018.

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New planning application for Wessex Fields link road and junction 

Plans for a new link road and junction directly connecting the A338 with the Wessex Fields business park are still being progressed, with a new planning application underway.

The new planning application is in the process of being submitted to the Local Planning Authority and will be subject to the 30 day statutory consultation period. 

The proposed scheme will improve the transport infrastructure in this part of the town by creating a new access from the A338 to the Wessex Fields Business Park.

If approved the scheme has the potential to create around 2,000 new jobs at Wessex Fields business park, safeguard the existing 10,000 jobs in the area, as well as provide a much needed second access to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital site.

With support from Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Council submitted a planning application at the end of last year which has been subject to public consultation and demonstrates the independent nature of the relationship between the Council as both the applicant for this scheme and the Local Planning Authority.  During this time the Council in its capacity as the applicant has positively addressed a number of issues and concerns raised by the Local Planning Authority and statutory consultees including Wessex Water, Natural England, Historic England and the Environment Agency.    This process has resulted in the Council in its capacity as the applicant to submit additional information as part of the planning application process. 

Due to the complexity of the original planning application and the number of changes being brought forward, a new planning application will be submitted taking on board all the additional information, and addressing the feedback that has been raised.   

Larry Austin, Service Director for Environment, said; “Since submitting the planning application, significant progress has been made to address the issues and concerns raised by statutory consultees and the local community. We are pleased to report that the holding objection from Wessex Water has now been removed, and there is agreement in principle from Natural England, subject to planning conditions and funding arrangements.

“As the applicant, the Council has listened carefully to the concerns raised and we have amended the plans accordingly.  A new planning application will streamline this feedback and allow a much clearer and accurate picture of what is now being proposed to be submitted.”

The most notable elements from the feedback that form part of the new planning application include: 

Re-alignment of the spine road: To address concerns about the impact of the proposed road from the A338 to Deansleigh Road on adjacent properties, the alignment will be changed to ensure that noise mitigation can be provided using a reasonable height fence and landscaping proposals.

Cob barn: Historic England submitted a response and the new planning application will include the retention of the Cob Barn

Sustainable Travel: A major element of the scheme is to provide enhanced facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users leading to more sustainable journeys in the area. The plans include new walking and cycling routes connecting Wessex Fields to the Stour Valley Way, as well as new pedestrian/ cycle links between Deansleigh Road and Riverside Avenue. 

Greenbelt: A Nature Reserve is proposed adjacent to the development site which will enable improved public access to the greenbelt.

Trees: All veteran trees will be retained as part of the proposed scheme. Substantial work has been undertaken to ensure that they are protected to ensure their longevity, and they form an integral part of the landscaping proposals.

Flooding: Whilst a section of the scheme will be in the outer extent of the River Stour floodplain, and there is a small loss of capacity for the flood plain, this is off-set by a new landscape design.  These will also form part of the landscaping features and contribute towards making this area a place where people can spend leisure time in a green open space.

Air quality: assessments on the proposed scheme show that there will be negligible impact on air quality.

Street lighting: will be in the development site only and not on the new junction and overbridge. Embankment planting is planned to shield light from vehicle headlights, particularly in relation to nearby housing.

The new planning application will consist of Phase 1 and Phase 2. At the current time, only Phase 1 has funding from the Dorset LEP, with construction due to commence in Spring 2019 subject to planning consent.  Work on Phase 2 will only commence when appropriate funding has been made available.

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Dorset LEP seeks project opportunities 

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is inviting private sector businesses and public sector organisations operating in Dorset to get in touch and let them know about ideas for investment to increase productivity.

As a business-led private and public sector partnership, Dorset LEP has already successfully secured £98.5m through the Government’s Local Growth Fund as part of an overall investment programme of £234m.  It now wishes to create a pipeline of capital projects should funding opportunities arise. This may be connected with the Government’s Industrial Strategy or other sources of funding. At present Dorset LEP has no grant funding available.

Applications are welcome from any public, private or third sector organisation that has a project with the potential to deliver increased productivity in the Dorset LEP area.

Two free workshops have been organised by Dorset LEP to outline the request, go through the application guidelines and to answer any questions.

Business case workshop event, Kingston Maurward College – 25 June 2018

Business case workshop event, Bournemouth University – 28 June 2018

Lorna Carver, Dorset LEP Director comments: “We want to capture proposals for capital projects that will boost productivity in a way that is relevant to our place. For example, Dorset has high levels of employment and so the key to boosting the productivity in our county might not be in creating new jobs, but in making those already in employment more productive. This could be through investment in new machinery or increasing production capacity through building additional workspace.

“If your project has potential to deliver increased productivity in the Dorset LEP area then please get in touch or come along to one of our workshops. Dorset LEP currently has no grant funding available but sometimes opportunities do come up and we would like to be in a position to respond in a timely manner.”

Dorset LEP Pipeline Projects is exclusively for capital projects with a minimum grant funding request of £250,000. Further information, along with a copy of the Dorset LEP Outline Business Case form is available from the Dorset LEP website at http://dorsetlep.co.uk/funding/dorset-lep-project-pipeline/

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Bournemouth Roadworks updates

The works at Cooper Dean traffic lights were ok last week but there were some delays this week with the schools back. This was particularly Castle Lane West to Cooper Dean. Other reports are of delays from the hospital side around 4.30/5.00pm . If you have any feedback re the Cooper Dean works please let me know as I regularly speak to their Traffic Manager.

If you have any questions regarding the agenda for 26th March, please let us know and Bill Riddle, Chairman of BCTC and Operations Director of Castlepoint will be able to ask on your behalf.

A338 Stakeholder Agenda 26March18  

A338 Stakeholders Minutes 13-12-17 Final

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New link road and junction from A338 to Wessex Fields will unlock major employment site and improve access to Royal Bournemouth Hospital

Plans to build a new link road and junction directly from the A338 to connect with the Wessex Fields business park will unlock a major employment site, and provide a second access to Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Delivered as part of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership’s Bournemouth International Growth (BIG) Programme the proposed scheme will improve the transport infrastructure in this part of the town by creating a new access from the A338.

Specific benefits of the proposed new link road and junction include:

  • the potential to create around 2,000 new jobs at Wessex Fields business park
  • safeguarding the existing 10,000 jobs, including 4,000 at Royal Bournemouth Hospital
  • a second access to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital site
  • improved traffic flows at Cooper Dean Roundabout, the Chaseside Junction and parts of Castle Lane East, and
  • enhanced facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users leading to more sustainable journeys in the area.

Councillor Mike Greene, Bournemouth’s Cabinet Member responsible for Transport, said; “Wessex Fields is a major asset in Bournemouth already earmarked for employment. However, the existing road networks are congested, inadequate and are acting as a barrier to growth. Through additional government funding we have an opportunity to transform the transport infrastructure, by connecting the Wessex Fields business park and surrounding area to the A338.”

Councillor Philip Broadhead, Cabinet Member responsible for Economic Growth, said “There is strong demand for flexible business space in and around Bournemouth.  Creating a modern business destination at Wessex Fields means we can make the most of the opportunities that this natural environment offers, and attract new businesses to Bournemouth which will lead to significant job opportunities for local people.”

Earlier this year residents and businesses attended a series of public roadshows where draft plans for the link road and junction were on display.  The feedback received was generally positive with many businesses and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital showing support for the scheme.

Lorna Carver, director, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, said; “We are looking forward to the submission of plans for the development of Wessex Fields business park.  This vital employment site will open up major economic opportunities for Dorset, boosting our economy and potentially creating over 2,000 jobs.   In addition, the proposed development will safeguard existing jobs, improve connectivity, encourage sustainable travel and provide a second access route into the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.”

Funding has been secured via Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership for phase 1 of the proposed scheme which includes a new link directly to and from the southbound A338 Wessex Way linking to Wessex Fields business park, the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and existing businesses on Deansleigh Road and the surrounding area.

Edwin Davies, Associate Director of Estates, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said; “The Trust fully supports the creation of the new junction from the A338. It will significantly improve entrance and exit from the site, which will be increasingly important as the Trust develops its services in line with the recent Clinical Services Review. The sporadic delays for our patients, visitors and staff to entering and leaving our site, particularly at peak times in the afternoon, will be reduced. It is also essential that with new employment opportunities being developed on Wessex Fields that the highway network can cope and is resilient. The new junction will go a long to providing this resilience.”

A planning application for the new link road and junction is due to be submitted in December 2017.  If approved construction of phase 1 is expected to start in Spring 2019, and be completed by Spring 2021.

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South West Local Enterprise Partnerships’ new Rural Productivity Commission seeks views from rural businesses.

 

The South West Rural Productivity Commission has been established as a partnership by four LEPs in the south west of England: The Heart of the South West (HotSW LEP), Dorset LEP, Swindon & Wiltshire (SWLEP), Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly (CIoS LEP) to explore the issues around rural productivity and growth.

Today launches the open call for written evidence with the deadline of 12 May, and for expressions of interest to take part one of a series of evidence hearings in June.

These south west LEPs recognise the importance of rural growth, productivity and prosperity being tackled alongside urban growth, to ensure that improvements impact on all parts of the economy.

The commission is set up to hear and review evidence from a range of sources and stakeholders, and aims to:

–        Frame the south west response to the Industrial Strategy and forthcoming DEFRA 25 year plans for ‘food, farming and fisheries’ and ‘environment’

–        Draw out the opportunities for the south west and individual LEPs to drive rural productivity improvements

–        Understand the wider economic functioning between rural and urban to identify opportunities to drive growth across the whole area

–        Secure Government support for specific initiatives in the 2017 autumn statement

–        Influence national and local policies where appropriate to improve rural productivity

The commission will report to the chairs of the four LEPs that have committed to the process, and it will be chaired by David Fursdon, Chair of the SW Rural and Farming Network and supported by nominated representatives from each LEP area.

The commission will collect and review evidence through the current call for written evidence by 12 May, followed by a series of evidence hearings in June across the four LEP areas (which will be open to the public and further announcements will be made on dates and venues) and a final report at the end of July.

 

Businesses and interested stakeholders can submit written evidence to the secretariat of the commission, Emma Buckman at: Emma.buckman@heartofswlep.co.uk by the 12 May.

More information about the scope of the commission and key lines of enquiry can be found at the following website http://heartofswlep.co.uk/projects/south-west-local-enterprise-partnerships-new-rural-productivity-commission-seeks-views-rural-businesses/

Those wishing to present evidence in person at the evidence hearings are asked to complete this short on-line expression of interest form: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/EOI-SWRural.

Steve Hindley CBE DL, Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“Building on our distinctive assets and valuing the rural economy as a driver for growth is key to the Heart of the South West’s Strategic Economic Plan. As we define our new Productivity Plan over the coming months, we need to gather evidence from rural communities to ensure that our future plans fully recognise the opportunities in this sector.

“I urge businesses and organisations involved in the rural economy to take part in the South West Rural Productivity Commission’s call for evidence.”

Mark Duddridge, Chair of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP said:

“The rural economy is extremely important to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and we value our natural assets which contribute to the area’s success as a leading tourism destination.

“Our local businesses create an economy that balances growth with the preservation of the landscape alongside development of our natural capital, and I hope that many of them will take part in this review so that our joint LEP partnership can address the real issues and opportunities that these businesses face.”

Gordon Page, Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“Rural enterprise makes a significant contribution to the Dorset economy both in specific localities and to the county as a whole. A key part of our vision is for strong growth across rural Dorset therefore it is important for us to be alert to opportunity, need and aspiration as well as some of the barriers to growth.

“By providing evidence, rural businesses can help us to better understand and address some of the issues around rural productivity across the south west region.”

John Mortimer, Chairman of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) said:

“Swindon and Wiltshire has a vast rural landscape, with an UNESCO world heritage site and Areas of Natural Beauty that offer a great opportunity for rural business growth. The rural economy is vibrant with businesses in agriculture, tourism, food and drink processing to name a few who create skilled jobs, innovative products and also export abroad.

“Through the South West Rural Productivity Commission’s call for evidence, we look forward to hearing from these businesses on the challenges and opportunities they recognise would shape the future of the rural economy in the area and the South West region.”

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Major economic boost for Dorset as Enterprise Zone opens for business

 

  • Site renamed as Dorset Innovation Park
  • Aims to create 2,000 new jobs and dozens of new businesses for Dorset over the next 25 years
  • Joint partnership between Dorset LEP, Purbeck District Council and Dorset County Council to create new cluster of excellence in advanced engineering
  • Announcement comes during national launch of 12 new enterprise zone sites that are going live across the UK today

Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is pleased to announce Dorset’s new Enterprise Zone as open and ready for business.

Dorset Innovation Park in Winfrith is the second largest employment site in the Dorset LEP area. The site already hosts two world leaders in defence technology – QinetiQ and Atlas Elektronik UK – and will now become a major focus for the economic regeneration of South Dorset and a vital stimulus for employment.

Dorset Innovation Park is a single site, accommodating 56 hectares of employment land. It follows major public sector redevelopment of the former Dorset Green Technology Park by Purbeck District Council, Dorset County Council and Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Having undertaken enabling investment, the HCA is now transferring the site to the local Councils who, working with Dorset LEP will take forward the delivery of the Enterprise Zone.

Dorset Innovation Park is being marketed internationally, nationally and locally as an advanced engineering cluster of excellence for the South West, building on strengths in marine, defence and energy. It is expected to facilitate 2,000 new jobs and attract dozens of new businesses to the area.

Enterprise Zones are part of the Government’s strategy to help businesses grow. Hosted by Local Enterprise Partnerships, they provide commercial and industrial businesses with incentives to set up or expand.

Having Enterprise Zone status means that businesses who locate to Dorset Innovation Park will be able to benefit from up to five years of business rate reductions and access to new ultrafast broadband within 12 months. Any business rates collected on the new development will be reinvested in the site over a 25 year period. It is envisioned there will be in the region of £30m of retained business rates to be invested in improving the site and local infrastructure.

The construction of 20 new employment units on the site is already underway as part of a £2.8m project by Purbeck District Council and Dorset County Council, including £600,000 secured by Dorset LEP via the Government’s Local Growth Fund. These are due for completion in October 2017 and will be fully serviced and let to businesses on ‘easy in, easy out’ terms.

Local Growth Minister Andrew Percy said “Our modern Industrial Strategy is about creating the right environment for businesses to grow. The 12 new Enterprise Zones will help make sure this happens across the country.

“The new Dorset Enterprise Zone will build on the area’s expertise to establish a hub for advanced engineering. The zone is a key part of our Plan for Britain to create a stronger economy.”

Gordon Page, Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said: “Dorset Innovation Park is a key strategic employment site for Dorset LEP and its success is an important element in working towards the objectives set out in our strategic economic vision for Dorset.

“Achieving Enterprise Zone status has enabled much needed extra employment land to be freed up, both for existing companies on the site which are actively looking to expand and for companies across Dorset which are struggling to find space. Dorset LEP is very pleased to launch Dorset Innovation Park as an attractive place to come and do business.”

John Sutcliffe, Dorset LEP Board Member and Business Development Director for Atlas Elektronik UK, which plans to expand its current operations at the site, said: “The investment in the Winfrith site is an exciting opportunity for the continued growth and sustainability of advanced engineering in Dorset. Winfrith is already a centre of excellence for innovation with good communication links and a very attractive work life balance. This investment will give other likeminded companies the opportunity to experience the same international success as Atlas Elektronik UK. 

Steve Mackenzie, Chief Executive of Purbeck District Council, said: “Securing the future of Dorset Innovation Park is our number one economic development priority, so I am delighted that Enterprise Zone status has been secured for the site, which will help realise its significant potential.”

For further information please contact Charlotte Knight, Dorset LEP Communications Manager at cknight@bournemouth.ac.uk or call 01202 962719.

Businesses looking to invest in the site should contact:

Jonathan Sibbett

jonathan@sibbettgregory.com

Jayne Sharman

jayne@sibbettgregory.com

Tel: 01202 661177

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£19.5 million cash boost for Dorset to help create local jobs and growth

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid today announced a government cash boost of £19.5 million for Dorset to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.

Some of the locally-chosen projects likely to benefit over the next few years include:

  • A new business district in Lansdowne;
  • Transport improvements in Gillingham to unlock further housing developments; and
  • A new housing development at Holes Bay in Poole.

These, alongside other projects, will improve skills, create jobs, build homes and improve infrastructure.

This latest award of Local Growth Funding is on top of £79 million of Growth Deals funding already awarded to Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership. This will see jobs created, homes built and extra investment.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

“As part of efforts to deliver an economy that works for everyone, the government is equipping local people with the resources they need to drive forward local growth.”

“That’s why we’re giving £19.5 million of new money to Dorset to give businesses the support and opportunities they need to achieve their potential. This is on top of the £79 million we have already awarded.”

Local Growth Minister Andrew Percy said:

“Today’s £19.5 million investment will support the delivery of new homes and jobs right across the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership.”

“These growth deals are a crucial part of our efforts to create an economy that works for everyone, and will ensure every region of the country has the chance to realise its full potential.”

 

Gordon Page, Chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“We submitted an ambitious business plan to accelerate economic growth across Dorset and are pleased to have been awarded £19.5 million to deliver a range of projects to fuel long-term growth across the county. This vote of confidence by the Government reflects our county’s economic potential and firmly places Dorset on the world map as an outstanding place to do business.”

“We now look forward to focusing on the important task of implementing these projects for Dorset and creating new jobs, stimulating private sector investment, driving business expansion and creating a better skilled workforce.”

 

Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, said:

“I am thrilled with this announcement. Having made the case for Bournemouth, this funding means my constituency will get a major boost as a result of these projects. The Lansdowne is a major opportunity for commercial revival and growth, whilst every driver will welcome work to ease the nightmare that is the Wallisdown Road. And the support for Bournemouth University will further lock in its role as a major driver in the economy of Dorset and a critical asset to Bournemouth which is the economic powerhouse of the county.”

 

Creating an economy that works for everyone

The £12 billion Local Growth Fund provides local leaders with the cash they need to support locally determined projects.  Under the fund, England’s 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships – made up of council leaders and business representatives – bid for investments based on local priorities.

Bids are highly competitive and to be successful, Local Enterprise Partnerships need to work with partners to agree strong and accountable governance and put forward proposals that boost growth and bring in private sector funding.

Over £9 billion of the Local Growth Fund has now been awarded to LEPs through three rounds of Growth Deals, helping more than 1,000 projects get started across England already – this is supporting vital infrastructure, improving skills and creating thousands of jobs. Together with money for unlocking housing sites to support home building and investment in very large transport schemes – both announced in 2016 – we have fulfilled our commitment to a £12 billion Local Growth Fund.

In Dorset this has already:

  • Supported the major rebuild of the A338, a nine-month long £22 million project. Dorset County Council was responsible for delivering the A338 project on time and on budget. It was one of the greenest road maintenance projects in the country;
  • Delivered £900,000 of Growth Deal funding at Kingston Maurward College to build a purpose-built facility comprising an agricultural classroom, an IT suite, a high spec workshop and machinery facilities including a fleet of tractors, plough, sprayer and variable rate drill; and
  • Enhanced Bournemouth University’s Orthopaedic Research Institute with £700,000 of Growth Deal funding to purchase a range of equipment, such as the new world-class orthopaedic gait analysis laboratory – the ‘GRAIL’ (gait real-time analysis interactive laboratory) – and state-of-the-art virtual reality training equipment.

Now this latest award will help do even more to benefit the lives of local people across the area.  New projects include:

  • Work to increase international investment in, and business at, the ground-breaking Orthopaedic Research Institute at Bournemouth University;
  • Providing match funding for key capital enhancements to Dorset tourist attractions, boosting productivity by increasing visitor numbers, stay and spend;
  • Wallisdown Connectivity, a significant upgrade to the major Bournemouth-Poole commuter road which connects the two University Campuses to Poole, and suffers from congestion at peak times;
  • Transforming the Lansdowne area of Bournemouth into a major new business district through a package of infrastructure and urban realm improvements;
  • Gillingham Access to Growth – transport infrastructure improvements to unlock housing and employment developments; and
  • Holes Bay, enabling the release of a major housing site in Poole, delivering up to 1,350 new homes.

 

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SECOND PHASE OF BIG PROGRAMME TRANSPORT SCHEMES ANNOUNCED

Bournemouth International Growth Programme

29 September 2016: Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership has announced plans for the next tranche of major transport schemes that will form part of the Bournemouth International Growth Programme.  Over £20 million of investment will help fund a series of highway improvements along the A338 and B3073 corridors aimed at facilitating better access into and around Bournemouth Airport as well as unlocking employment land at Aviation Business Park and at Wessex Fields.

  • Blackwater Junction (located on the A338 / B3073 intersection). This scheme will alleviate congestion and improve access to and from Bournemouth Airport.  The works at Blackwater will include reconfiguring the east and west junctions on the B3073 along with the construction of additional approach lanes. The slip roads off and on to the A338 will also be improved. The main contract works are programmed to commence in September 2017 with initial site clearance, required to enable detailed survey work, due to start on site at the beginning of October 2016.
  • Hurn Roundabout (east of Bournemouth Airport on the B3073). This heavily used and often congested junction is being reconfigured to further help improve access to the airport and Aviation Business Park. The scheme, which is being funded by Dorset County Council, provides a relocated roundabout to the east of its current site and includes the realignment of Parley Lane and the Avon Causeway.  The Christchurch Road section will also be re-orientated and the Matchams Lane junction moved.  Works are due to start in September 2017.
  • The Wessex Fields Junction on the A338 offers improved connectivity to the wider transport network, opening up the future opportunity for the development of designated employment land at Wessex Fields. This will also provide a second access road to the Royal Bournemouth General Hospital and potentially to existing businesses on the Wessex Fields business park. Preliminary design and site investigation surveys and assessments are currently taking place. The current provisional start date for construction of the works is Spring 2019.
  • A number of road infrastructure improvements on the B3073 at Chapel Gate and Parley Cross are also being investigated. Design options are currently under review to ensure that the best solution is selected for this congested transport corridor. It is anticipated that various improvements will be implemented from mid-2017.

The above schemes form part of the £45.2 million secured by Dorset LEP through the Dorset Growth Deal* for the BIG Programme, an ambitious major economic growth plan focused on boosting employment and development around Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields.  The BIG Programme’s first major transport scheme – the £22 million major renewal of the A338 Bournemouth Spur Road between Ashley Heath and Blackwater – was successfully completed under budget in May 2016.

Gordon Page, chairman of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“The BIG Programme’s latest infrastructure investments tackle key pinch points on the A338 and B3073 which will improve journeys to Bournemouth Airport and Wessex Fields and help create up to 10,000 jobs over the next ten years.  Alongside the major works around the Port of Poole, these infrastructure investments are essential and long overdue – existing key link roads and transport networks are congested, inadequate and suppressing growth.

Dorset LEP has a window of opportunity to access central Government funds to address infrastructure problems, in partnership with our local authorities, to not only fix near-term issues but also to secure reasonable connectivity to cater for planned future economic growth in the area.

It is reassuring to see that plans for the BIG Programme’s next phase of transport improvement projects are well under way.  Our priority is to deliver schemes which offer best value and keep driver disruption and impact on business to a minimum.  Collectively they will alleviate traffic congestion, transform accessibility and drive economic growth in Dorset.”

Bournemouth Borough Council is leading on the delivery of the A338 schemes working jointly with Dorset County Council on the infrastructure improvements at Blackwater Junction and Wessex Fields.

Dorset County Council is delivering the improvements at Hurn Roundabout, Chapel Gate and Parley Cross.

For further information visit: http://dorsetlep.co.uk/local-delivery/local-delivery-the-growth-deal/bournemouth-international-growth-programme/

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