Homes, colleges and broadband - the schemes to receive slice of government £60m handout

Easton College. Picture: Mike Page Easton College. Picture: Mike Page

Monday, July 7, 2014
8:30 AM

Here are the projects receiving funding:

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After 2016

The government has given its backing to a further six projects, provisionally allocating £20.1m for schemes which would start after 2016.

Negotiations around the final amount are still to take place, but the government has provisionally indicated that it will give about £9m towards plans to maintain the road network and ease congestion in Great Yarmouth.

It has also provisionally awarded £125,000 for a study to assess options for the new river crossing in Lowestoft.

About £4.6m has been provisionally earmarked for transport improvements in Attleborough town centre, £2.3m for improvements in Thetford town centre, including a road-cycle link and about £1.8m for measures to improve traffic flow in Ipswich.

Bury St Edmunds is also in line for around £2.3m for a package of sustainable transport measures for cycling walking and public transport in the town.

BROADBAND

An extra £10m towards a project to get fast broadband to the most rural areas of Norfolk and Suffolk should help get 95% of homes connected by 2017. The money will be added to Norfolk and Suffolk’s Better Broadband projects, which has been running since 2012.

The original deals between BT and the county councils meant that 83% of Norfolk’s homes and businesses could expect to access high-speed broadband services of at least 24Mbps (megabits per second) by the end of 2015, and 85% in Suffolk.

Proposed Beccles Southern Relief Road.Proposed Beccles Southern Relief Road.

EASTON

About 350 students a year will be giving the skills to build the homes of the future and energy infrastructure at a new training centre in Easton.

The £3.75m facility, which is ready to start, will be built at Easton and Otley College, with £2.5m coming from the Local Growth Fund.

There is a shortage of skilled construction workers in the area and the new college will help the region to meet its housing targets.

Proposed scheme at Lowestoft College.Proposed scheme at Lowestoft College.

Once it is up and running it will train up to 350 new students in construction in this area, every year.

COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA

A new science and technology skills and training facility will be built at the College of West Anglia with the help of £6.5m from the Local Growth Fund.

The new 2,000sq m centre in King’s Lynn will provide higher level education and training in areas such as science, technology and management.

It will include 14 digital classrooms, a 120-seat multi-media lecture, offices and social space. It aims to address the skills and employment gap in Fenland and West Norfolk.

BECCLES

Work on the Beccles southern relief road will start in 2015 after the government has put forward £2m towards the £7m scheme.

The long-discussed project took a major step forward last year after Suffolk County Council held a consultation, and decided to fund the scheme.

The announcement that the Beccles Relief Road is to receive £2m from the Local Enterprise Partnership will be celebrated by many people in the town.

The new road will link the A146 Norwich to Lowestoft Road with the A145 and A12 Ipswich road which means traffic will not have to travel along the narrow roads in Beccles town centre.

The new road will also carry traffic heading for Ellough Industrial Estate and give a boost to the local economy.

COSTESSEY

Developer Taylor Wimpey will be loaned £2.1m by the government to fast-track its 495-home Lodge Farm development.

The cash will also see a new school site, community centre and sports facilities built. Planning permission has already been given for the scheme, but the cash means that a much larger proportion of infrastructure on the site can be completed. Costessey and Easton have been earmarked for 1,000 new homes under the Greater Norwich Development Partnership (GNDP) core strategy – a blueprint for future development in Norfolk. It would be the second part of the Lodge Farm development.

LOWESTOFT

Planning permission to demolish the old technology department to make way for a new engineering, catering and hospitality block was granted in March.

Richard Perkins, chairman of the Lowestoft College Corporation, said he was delighted with the news £10m of funding had been granted. The building will incorporate a simulated process engineering plant, where students can gain experience with machinery used by local industries, including food packaging and manufacturing and offshore energy generation. It will also include a training restaurant and a new public restaurant.

Meanwhile, Suffolk County Council has been awarded a grant of £250,000 to a help assess options on plans for a new traffic crossing over Lake Lothing in Lowestoft.

The money will be allocated from 2016/17 and onwards.

The county council is currently carrying out on a consultation on a new crossing for Lowestoft, which for years has suffered traffic problems.

The public consultation was launched at the beginning of June and is looking at three locations for a possible multi-million pound new crossing - by the town’s existing Bascule bridge and further up Lake Lothing at Silo Quay and at the adjoining Brooke Industrial Park.

A final report is expected by the end of the year.

WISBECH

The long-awaited re-opening of Wisbech railway station took a step closer with the announcement of £500,000 which will go towards work to look at reopening the line between the town and March.

The money, which will be available in April 2015, is for two feasibility studies, which could see transport improvements on both road and rail in Fenland.

The first £250,000 is for a detailed engineering study, known as a GRIP 2 study, which will determine how Network Rail can deliver the project to re-open Wisbech railway station and re-instate the rail link between Wisbech and March.

The other is for detailed feasibility work into dualling the Wisbech to Guyhirn stretch of the A47.

BURY ST EDMUNDS

A relief road to the east of Bury St Edmunds is expected to see the town’s business park expand and new homes and a school built.

The government has pledged £5.7m towards the £15m scheme, which leaders claim could see national businesses re-locate to the Suffolk Business Park.

It will also allow 500 new homes to be built in the town and a new secondary school and community football project started.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council aims to award the contract for the road construction before May next year. John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “There is still a long way to go but this project will help create an abundance of jobs, investment and prosperity for our area, to be enjoyed by our children, and generations to come.” . It is estimated that the total project will bring an estimated £275m of investment into the area.

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