Over £80 million is coming to the West of England to invest in new transport infrastructure, it was announced in today’s budget.
The West of England Combined Authority is set to receive funding for schemes to improve connectivity, reduce congestion and encourage new technology to create jobs and boost economic growth.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “Today’s budget clearly demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the West of England region. This new funding is a direct result of devolution, and recognises the significance of our region to the national economy.
“Our ability to talk to central government as a Combined Authority, with one voice, is one of the key benefits of devolution. As a region, working together, we have demonstrated that we have clear and ambitious plans and Government has recognised this by investing in our future.”
“Over the last decade, our economic contribution to the UK has outperformed the national average. Because of this success, and because we’re a great place to live and work, our population has been rising rapidly and we expect this to continue. This puts an increasing strain on our transport and infrastructure and we need this significant investment to support planned future growth.
“We will work with our constituent local authorities, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, to decide how best to use this funding to help get our region moving.”
The money is coming from a total fund of £1.7bn, £850m of which is going to Combined Authorities on a per capita basis. WECA will also bid for money from the remainder of the fund, which will be allocated on a competitive basis.
“The Chancellor also announced significant investment into housing, which is great news as we are working towards an ambitious housing deal with Government,” said Tim. “This would enable the Combined Authority to work with our partners to deliver quality new homes, including affordable homes, and much-needed supporting infrastructure.
“There were also a number of very positive announcements around skills, including lifelong learning, with particular emphasis on the digital and construction sectors. We look forward to seeing more detail around these in the coming weeks.”