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Essex receives its share of the £85 million 'Getting Building Fund'

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Essex receives its share of the GBP85 million Getting Building Fund

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has announced the final list of 34 projects approved by them and the Government for an £85 million share in the Government’s new ‘Getting Building Fund’.

David Rayner, Commercial Real Estate Partner, Head of Environment and Energy Group at Birkett Long and Deputy Chair of the Essex Business Board – ‘Success Essex’, has an inside view of the discussions that took place to prioritise and select the various projects across the region.

David says that it was vital that projects could not only work up a business case quickly, but that they would be delivered within a very tight timetable by the end of March 2022. The selection process involved a considerable amount of hard work from across Essex - and beyond - to ensure that the best possible cases were made for projects that will have a potentially life-changing or enhancing impact across the County.

34 projects from across the SELEP region have been approved by the Government and many of these will be in Essex. 

They range across a breadth of schemes including such diverse projects as; 

  • rolling out full fibre broadband into hard to reach parts of the County - something that is vital for our rural economy 
  • improved city centre space at Tindal Square ii Chelmsford – to enhance the experience of city centre workers, inhabitants and visitors. 

Other projects will see investment into Tendring and, especially Jaywick, to support an area of need.

David says at a time when much is being made of the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine, the award of this very significant funding to the South East is a recognition by Government that this region is vital to the growth and prosperity of the UK economy. We can not be left behind, this much needed funding will see projects spring to life and be delivered quickly to the benefit of the businesses and citizens of Essex.

Several of the new projects are located in Harlow, which will see a refurbishment and relocation of its library to improved facilities and allowing redevelopment of the old library area for housing. It will also include  adaptation of educational facilities to provide the essential ‘T’ levels in construction, digital, education and childcare and health and science.

One of the most significant projects will be the provision of a new innovation and entrepreneurship hub at the Enterprise Centre at Horizon 120 Business park in Braintree.

The underlying message, though, from all of this stimulus to the Essex economy is that we are seen as a vital part of uk plc. These projects should provide significant opportunities for those involved in construction, education, environment and all associated businesses and trades. Across the SELEP region, the new projects will deliver:

  • over 9,000 new jobs and safeguard a further 3,341, 
  • 7,234 new homes unlocked, 
  • over 50,000sq m in new commercial space provided and, 
  • over 8,600 new learners assisted through skills facilities and programmes. 

This is great news for all of Essex’ businesses and inhabitants and we need to seize the opportunities now presented, in addition to ensuring that these projects are delivered on time.

People in coastal areas and market towns will see their town centres enhanced, with old disused buildings brought back to life. There will be new grow-on and commercial space for new businesses and educational needs. New skills infrastructure - vital to support the business needs of tomorrow - will see many new learner spaces being created. It will mean existing and new growing sectors – innovative green technologies, manufacturing, transport and logistics, housing, cultural and creative can thrive.

The Essex Business Board is not, however, resting on its laurels. Having secured this much-needed support for Essex, it now moves on to consider further projects for the next rounds of Government funding.

If you would like further information, or to discuss your business needs, please contact David Rayner on 01245 453826 or david.rayner@birkettlong.co.uk.

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