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£66.3M To Be Invested In Dorset


6:53am 7th July 2014
(Updated 10:27am 7th July 2014)

The Minister of State for Transport is visiting Dorset, on the day the Government announces £66.3M worth of new investment in the county.

Baroness Kramer will visit Poole Port and Bournemouth Airport later this morning, which will both receive money to improve transport links.

The only project in our area to get a cash handout is a new Jurassic Coast Visitor centre on Portland.

Julie Cleaver President of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce told Wessex FM:

"This is great news for the local economy of Weymouth & Portland.  It is very important that we continue to attract investment in the South and West of the County as well as the East conurbation of Poole & Bournemouth.  The Jurassica Project will be a significant investment in the region and will create jobs in the area....”

The Government insists the Growth Deal for Dorset will bring 25,000 new jobs, 3,000 new homes and a £530M boost to the economy.

The Prime Minister said: "Growth Deals are a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain's future.

"For too long our economy has been too London-focused and too centralised. Growth Deals will help change all that. They are about firing up our great towns and cities, boosting local economies and driving growth across the country.

"This historic deal means real change for people and businesses in Dorset with big investment projects, including transport infrastructure schemes to improve access to key areas such as the Port of Poole and Bournemouth Airport, which will not only improve journeys for local people, visitors and businesses, but will also unlock redevelopment sites in and around the area. In addition, young people will benefit from funding for new manufacturing and engineering teaching facilities at Bournemouth and Poole College.

"By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new jobs. And that means more economic security, peace of mind and a brighter future for hardworking people across the region."

The Deputy Prime Minister said: "The Dorset Growth Deal will create thousands of jobs, provide incredible new training opportunities for young people, build thousands of new homes and improve transport links across the region for people and their families; building a stronger economy and a fairer society.

"We're placing the power and money in the hands of people in Dorset who know how to spend it best, making a real difference to local communities."

Gordon Page CBE DL, the LEP Chair said: "This deal is a major step forward for the Dorset economy. Regenerating the Port of Poole and building on the strengths of Bournemouth Airport have been our top priorities for some time, and we are delighted that we are now in a position to really make progress, to deliver thousands of new jobs and homes. We welcome the on-going funding for our Growth Hub service - providing tailored support and advice to local businesses to help them grow.  Investment in the Jurassica project will help us move forward with this flagship attraction for the Jurassic Coast, and support for our emerging orthopaedics cluster is also very good news - this will attract innovative, high growth businesses in this field to Dorset.

"Negotiations on the next round of bidding will start in the summer and we will be bidding progressively for further projects from now on."

Jim Stewart, CEO at Poole Harbour Commissioners, 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 SEP as this link is so vital to our local economy."

Paul Knight, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, said: "We naturally welcome the investment announced today by the government, as we believe it affords a fantastic opportunity for the wider region. We believe that by investing in the road infrastructure around Bournemouth Airport it unlocks the single largest employment opportunity in the south east Dorset Conurbation. By investing in key infrastructure in this way, it opens up the development opportunity that exists within the business park and we can continue to attract more employers and jobs to the park as well as more airlines to the airport."

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