The West of England Mayoral Combined Authority’s strong track record of delivery has seen it secure a further £18 million of government funding to fast track 19 ‘shovel-ready’ projects to grow the regional economy after several successful bids to government led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.
Successful bids include:
- £3 million for 12 projects to improve the quality of skills education at colleges and learning providers across the West. This includes over £1 million for to upgrade facilities for construction apprenticeships over at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College to help retrofit the 250,000 homes in need of energy improvements across the region. There is also cash for improved facilities to train up the next generation of West of England engineers, chefs as well as car, motorcycle and van technicians over at City of Bristol College.
- £7.3 million for five projects aimed at the area’s innovators to help them turn great ideas around net-zero, the creative industries and other areas into high growth businesses and good-quality jobs for local people. This includes brand-new facilities to improve hydrogen research and production at Bath University for entrepreneurs to power the region’s green energy drive. There’s also funding to create top-of-range workspaces for the region’s creatives to try out new animation, music and other technology at the University of the West of England.
- £3 million to unlock a project to deliver a new Central Business District in the heart of Bath to attract the biggest and best UK firms to set up in the region.
- £4.9 million to develop a brand-new site to house 14 top-notch manufacturing firms next to the new state-of-the-art and Combined Authority-funded Bottle Yard Studios near Hengrove Park in South Bristol.
In total, the schemes will create up to 630 brand-new jobs and space to train over 1,000 people, says the Metro Mayor.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “I’m delighted to secure this funding to put rocket boosters under several projects integral to my West of England Combined Authority’s plan to grow our economy and ensure the benefits are felt across our communities. Now we need to spend this cash and deliver those programmes to ensure local people enter the world of work with the best possible technical and vocational training, back the innovators of tomorrow and unlock two key development projects in Bristol and Bath to help regenerate our region. That’s important to ensure I can lever in even more money for more prestigious and ambitious projects in the future that local people need and deserve”.