Local Growth Fund – increasing prosperity & growth

Bucks is a significant wealth generator for the UK economy, and the commitment of over £73m in Local Growth Funds is unleashing ambition and creativity in the county. This funding is enabling the delivery of new road and rail infrastructure, better skills and business opportunities and enhancing digital connectivity to support sustainable economic growth in Bucks.

Our Growth Deal brings together local, national and private funding as well as delivery of key priority areas identified in our Strategic Economic Plan.

(Projected targets over the life of the Local Growth Fund Programme)
Local Growth Fund allocated each year
Summary of Local Growth Fund designation

Project summaries and progress updates:

The implementation of the High Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan will strengthen the role of the Town Centre as the focus for employment, shopping and leisure activities. A key component of the Masterplan is an alternative southern transport route around the town centre, which will deliver a more attractive town centre, better connecting old and new developments, supporting environmental improvements including the potential restoration of the River Wye in the heart of the town.

The full business case for supporting this project was approved by the Bucks LEP Board in May 2016 allocating £8.48m of Local Growth Funding for this project.

Outcome:

Completion of the final stage of the new alternative town centre route was completed in November 2019, for further details click: High Wycombe town centre master plan.  The aim of the scheme is to deliver 29,000 sqm of business, commercial and retail space; 500 news homes; and 1,900 jobs.

The A4 Cycle and Bus Route improvement project, also known as the A4 Bath Road Sustainable Travel project, aims to improve cycling access to a number of rail stations in the South Bucks area serving the Cross-rail service, including Taplow and Burnham stations. The scheme also incorporates elements of bus infrastructure improvements, to help encourage bus-rail connectivity and to reduce car usage.

The full business case for this project was approved by the Bucks LEP board in September 2016 and was completed in November 2019. £1.53m of Local Growth Funding was allocated to this project. For further details click: A4 Sustainable Transport Scheme.

Outcome:

Benefits of the scheme include improved access to Taplow station and Crossrail services, links to Bishops Centre retail area and Mill Lane riverside residential areas, with plans to link with the proposed new residential development site adjacent to the Sainsburys superstore on the A4 Bath Road – in total over 380 new homes will benefit from this link. In addition, the scheme links to the Jubilee Path and Dorney Rowing Lake leisure and recreation area – home of the 2012 Olympics.

The A413 Sustainable Travel scheme introduced 9km of new shared cycle and footway corridor that interconnects the towns of Buckingham and Winslow – the site of the proposed new railway station for East West Rail. This scheme also upgraded existing bus stops in Buckingham with real-time passenger information.

The full business case for this project was approved by the Bucks LEP board in March 2016 approving £2.21m of Local Growth Funding for the development of this scheme.

Outcome:

Construction of this new facility commenced in June 2016 and was completed in January 2017. For further details click: A413 Sustainable Travel Scheme.

The A355 provides the main north-south route in the county connecting Amersham and the A413 to the north and Beaconsfield and the M40 to the south. The improvements will reduce congestion and improve journey times on this key connection to the M40, as well as improving north/south transport connectivity to promote economic growth across Buckinghamshire.

The full business case for this project was approved by the Bucks LEP board in May 2016 allocating £6.05m to this project.

A355 Improvement Scheme plan

Outcome:

Construction for the new road was completed in November 2019.  For further details click: A355 Improvement Scheme.  The scheme is delivering approximately 1.3km of new road linking the A355 Amersham Road from Maxwell Road through the Wilton Park Development to the A40 London Road Pyebush Roundabout – reducing major congestion and improving road safety in Old Beaconsfield at London End.

The scheme also supports the delivery of the Wilton Park residential development site, being promoted by Inland Homes, delivering over 300 new homes including affordable housing. In addition, north-south connectivity will improve journey time reliability and improved access to the M40 strategic road corridor.

The aim of these transport schemes is to manage traffic capacity on the highway network, to enhance public transport provision and advance the wider regeneration of the East of Aylesbury in order to drive economic growth and development. These schemes also form part of a wider highway network strategy to provide key link roads, which promote both North-South regional connectivity, linking Milton Keynes to the North and the M25 and London in the South, as well as orbital traffic movements around Aylesbury rather than through the town centre.

Outcome:

Work on the Stocklake link road was completed in spring 2017. The Stocklake link supports the Kingsbrook residential development and the delivery of 2,450 new homes.  The exemplar site has incorporated green space, flood protection and natural habitat providing direct public access to open green space and direct sustainable link routes through to the town centre. Bucks LEP allocated Local Growth Funding of £3.56m to this project.

Eastern Link Road South scheme will be delivered by the Council Highway Authority, as part of the proposed Aylesbury Woodlands development, delivering an additional 1,100 new homes, and over 120,000 sqm of new business space along with leisure, recreation and green facilities. These transport schemes also support the wider growth and ambitions of the recently designated Aylesbury Garden Town. For further details click: Aylesbury Eastern Link Road (Southern) and Stocklake Link (Rural).

The Further Education sector is vital in delivering the skills pipeline needed to keep the economy of Buckinghamshire buoyant. The College aims to provide its learners with an outstanding learning experience and the transformation of the facilities at its Amersham and Flackwell Heath campuses will help deliver this objective. New facilities provided and supported by the £2.69m Local Growth Funding include a media suite and online training facilities at the Amersham site, a new technical and construction trades facility at the Flackwell Heath campus, and new sporting facilities at both sites.

Outcome:

Work was completed on the sporting facilities in early 2017 and the classroom and construction facilities at Flackwell Heath completed in autumn 2017. For further details click: Transforming Buckinghamshire College Group’s Estate. These new facilities are providing Amersham & Wycombe College students with an outstanding learning experience. Over 265 students last year benefited from the new facilities and numbers are set to grow over future years.

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) in Beaconsfield is globally recognised as the best film and TV school in the world with its graduates regularly featuring on the Oscar and Bafta awards lists. £1.5m of Bucks LEPs funding was used to build a new Digital Content Production Training Studio which is now one of the most advanced dedicated training facilities in the UK and has the ability to shoot, record and stream live content in high definition 4k.

NFTS

Outcome:

Following approval by the Bucks LEP board construction work began in July 2016, progress was swift with the new facilities opening in early 2017. To date over 400 full and part time students have benefited from a range of MA, Diploma and NVQ courses. For further information please go to the National Film and Television School website.

The Westcott Venture Park is one of three sites in Buckinghamshire that has secured Enterprise Zone status. The vision for the park is to be a globally leading centre in the field of space and satellite propulsion, building on the rich heritage of rocket technologies at the site.

£600k of LGF funding was approved by the Bucks LEP board in March 2016 to develop a 5G testbed at the Westcott Venture Park site to provide a test site for the development of unmanned automated vehicles and their ability to transmit data over a 5G network. This facility will also provides access to this resource for businesses using the incubation centre.

Outcome:

Work on this new facility started in autumn 2017 and completed in autumn 2018. The facility provides an open and accessible test facility, with a full spectrum of Ofcom licences, and integration of satellite and terrestrial networks with seamless connectivity. For further information please go to the 5G website.

Westcott Space launch

The Westcott Venture Park is one of three sites in Buckinghamshire that has secured Enterprise Zone status. The vision for the park is to be a globally leading centre in the field of space and satellite propulsion, building on the rich heritage of rocket technologies at the site.

Bucks LEP alongside the UK Space Agency are investing in a new National Centre for Satellite Applications, including a new Innovation Centre and training hub for the next generation of technicians, scientists and engineers working in this field and helping develop the links between businesses and academia in this high growth sector.  The centre is linked with the 5G Testbed and Business Incubation centre making use of the live rocket propulsion testing facilities on the site.

blog unleashing the potential

Outcome:

The Bucks LEP board approved £2m towards this project at their meeting in September 2016. Planning was approved for the Satellite Applications Innovation Centre in December 2019 and construction of the building started in January 2020 and completed in October 2020.

In conjunction with the Innovation Centre, Bucks LEP, and Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone, the Council Highways Authority are delivering new access improvements to the Westcott site from the A41 Bicester road. The highway improvements started in January 2020 and was completed in time for the occupation of the Innovation Centre in October. For further information please go to the Satellite Applications website.

£93,500 was approved by the Bucks LEP board in May 2016 to enable the Aylesbury Training Group to purchase specialist new engineering equipment to develop its programme of training services for its nationally renowned cycle training programme from its Aylesbury base. The funding has been used to help the group establish the UK’s first technicians course for e-bike maintenance, support the digital design curriculum, and to support recruitment campaigns to increase take up of exisiting courses and extend the range offered. For further details click:  Aylesbury Training Group Technical Skills Project.

Collaboration with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Bucks New University to establish two new business incubation hubs, one at Wycombe University and one at Stoke Mandeville Hosptial, linking business to clinical research and healthcare services. Centres specialise in spinal injury and upper limb prosthetic technologies and rehabilitation, creating investment opportunities and jobs in specialist healthcare sectors.

Bucks LEP have invested £1.3m in LGF money for this £2.6m scheme.

Outcome:

Works on the Stoke Mandeville Innovation Centre started in October 2019 and are due to be completed in summer 2020.

Plan of Stoke Mandeville Innovation Centre

Work in progress – May 2020

The Wycombe University project was completed in summer 2019 and is linking medical science and innovation with clinical services across 296 sqm of business space.

Rail improvement scheme to provide two hourly frequency rail service for passengers between Marlow and Maidenhead. A collaborative project with Great Western Rail, Local Authorities and local businesses to improve north south rail connectivity and journey times eliminating the need to change trains at Bourne End Station.

The scheme will provide a faster service to GWR mainline as well as connecting Crossrail and the planned Western Rail Link to Heathrow. The £5m scheme is match funded by development contributions and supported by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. The scheme will provide more regular public transport links to Globe Business Park reducing need to travel by car and impact on the congested A404 Strategic Road corridor between M4 and M40.

£1.7m of Local Growth Funding has been allocated to this scheme which is at GRIP3 in the Network Rail development process.

Outcome:

Great Western Railway have signed a partnership agreement with Network Rail, to support them deliver their forward programme of rail improvements.

£675,000 of Local Growth Funding is being utilised as part of the Broadband delivery programme in Buckinghamshire. The first phase of this programme saw 40,000 homes and businesses in Buckinghamshire given the capacity to connect to superfast broadband services. The second phase is currently being delivered and has so far rolled out superfast broadband services to 9,500 premises in Buckinghamshire.

The original target, which was to reach 95% superfast broadband coverage county-wide by December 2019, was achieved 16 months early, and by December 2019 the county had over 96% superfast coverage, with take-up of Contract 1 connections being amongst the highest in the UK.

The Local Enterprise Partnership are currently looking at how they can support further roll-out of superfast and ultrafast broadband across Buckinghamshire through future contracts and specific conversations about individual sites.

For further information please go to the Connected Counties website.

LGF3 funding of £3m was approved by the Bucks LEP Board in March 2017, which has gone toward this this key project to create a centre where business and education can interact and build on the University’s internationally recognised reputation in pioneering the techniques of entrepreneurship learning.

Outcome:

Construction of the University of Buckingham’s new Vinson Centre commenced in summer 2017 with completion in November 2018. For further details click: Vinson Centre.

The new centre benefits from over 865 sqm of high quality learning space, including a library, book shop and cafe, which has benefited over 1300 students to date. In addition, the centre has created 11 new jobs.

Part of the Aylesbury Ring Road development – advanced and part funded by investment by HS2 Ltd – the new route will connect and enable development of major new housing and employment locations to the south of Aylesbury and ensure better regional connectivity.

Outcome:

LGF3 funding of £13.5m has been allocated to this key transport scheme, which is being managed by the Department for Transport as a retained scheme. The scheme is scheduled for completion in early 2021. For further details click: South East Link Road

Linking the A4010 to A413 Hampden Fields the scheme will facilitate 4,735 homes and 29,000 sqm of business space.

Silverstone Sports Hub

LGF3 funding of £2m was earmarked for a new Innovation Centre at Silverstone to advance the development of the High Performance Technology Cluster.

Outcome:

The business case for the facility was endorsed by the Bucks LEP Board at its meeting in September 2017 and the centre was opened in September 2019. For further details click: Silverstone Innovation Centre.

The Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub includes two wind tunnels and a sports fabrics R&D centre, and is housed in a new 2,415 sqm building as part of a wider 11,612 sqm speculative development by Silverstone Park developer MEPC within the Aylesbury Vale Enterprise Zone.

Silverstone park glass wallsPhoto of the month - November 2018

Bucks LEP invested £1.32m of Local Growth Funds in the University Campus Aylesbury Vale Digital Innovation Lab – to enable the refit of the ground floor of the University.

Outcome:

Work was completed in September 2019, with facilities for SME’s now available and being promoted by Buckinghamshire New University and Oxford Innovation.

cta 02

Bucks LEP invested £1.64m of Local Growth Funding for the creation of a new bespoke education centre at Pinewood Studios for postgraduate and MA’s in Film and Creative related studies. The scheme will enable development of film and creative industries education and skills curriculum.

Outcome:

A partnership between Buckinghamshire New University, Creative Media Skills and Bucks LEP – the first of its kind in the in the UK – sees over 50 candidates start courses in September 2019.

The National Centre for Immersive Storytelling  at The National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield received £228k Local Growth Funding from Bucks LEP for this scheme, which was completed in Autumn 2019.

Outcome:

This unique facility is first of its kind in the UK, to support innovative student commissions, and help train industry specialists in the potential of immersive creative and screen content.  The major new investors in creative content the FANG Group (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) are all seeking to invest in immersive content and the optimal development of this facility will assist the school in opening commercial dialogue with these new partners.  The new facility will also help strengthen existing corporate partnerships that the school are also developing with the likes of Disney and Channel 4.

The facility opened for students in October 2019, for further details click here.

Over the lifetime of the Deal (2015-2021) Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that up to 5,000 new jobs could be created, 600 new homes built and that the Deal has the potential to generate £40m public and private sector investment.

Buckinghamshire LEP will publish Business Cases and Independent Evaluations for projects supported by our local growth fund schemes, within the reports section on this website, and would welcome comments on these assessments. If you have any questions or would like to comment on any project please e-mail:  info@buckstvlep.co.uk .