Ambitious plans for business growth, more jobs and sustainable transport links in the Somer Valley have been given a boost with additional investment from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).
WECA approved the outline business case for the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone and awarded £746,000 to Bath & North East Somerset Council to support the development phase for the full business case.
The full project involves land acquisition, off site utilities, on site infrastructure and a cycle path linking the Enterprise Zone with Midsomer Norton. WECA has also allocated funds towards the implementation phase once a full business case comes forward in 2020.
Somer Valley was allocated Enterprise Zone status in April 2017 and the 13.5-hectare site, to the west of Midsomer Norton on the A362, is anticipated to deliver a development mix up to 40,000m2 of mixed commercial space.
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “I want to improve everyone’s opportunity to succeed, whether it’s inspiring young people in their careers, improving people’s skills to get on at work, supporting businesses to grow or encouraging new businesses to invest in the West of England.
“The Somer Valley Enterprise Zone will help ensure that people living in and around the area have the opportunity to be part of our region’s continued growth and success.”
Cllr Dine Romero, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “Not only is it good to see investment that will help create jobs for our area, it is also welcome to see infrastructure plans that take into account sustainable transport options like a cycle path.”
Bath & North East Somerset Council is also developing a separate outline business case related to the highways infrastructure for the Enterprise Zone.