Access to the Port of Poole is set to be improved through an award of £66.3 million which has been allocated to the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in order to improve infrastructure in Dorset.
The ‘Growth Deal’ is part of a £12 billion long-term programme aimed to revitalise local economies. Dorset’s will enable Poole Harbour Commissioners to improve access to the Port, by completing a town-side access road scheme, maintaining the original bridge crossing, unlocking growth potential at the port and assisting new redevelopment sites in Poole.
Jim Stewart, chief executive at Poole Harbour Commissioners was very pleased to hear the announcement. He said: “The new transport projects will provide critical infrastructure for the Port of Poole and 26 hectares of brownfield land, which will be one of the largest regeneration areas in the South West. We are delighted that Dorset has received funding from the Growth Deal as part of the Dorset LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan as this link is so vital to Poole’s economy.”
Other schemes earmarked for the funding include improved transport schemes and access to Bournemouth Airport and the renewal of the A338 Spur Road, the major artery into Bournemouth from Hampshire.
It is anticipated that the overall investment could create 25,000 jobs, see the building of more than 3,000 new homes and instigate up to £530 million in public and private investment.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited Port of Poole to learn how the funds will make a tangible difference to Dorset’s economy. An initial £23.9 million will be injected in the first year with a further £42.4 million from 2016/17.