Our region is attractive; people who live here, work here, and people who move here, stay and build their lives here. This ensures a steady supply of workers, but it also brings challenges.
At times, our networks are congested, and demand for affordable housing outstrips supply.
We need a transport network that works for everyone, every day and for every journey. We’ve already allocated millions to kickstart improvements to our busiest transport routes – including rail, road, buses, walking and cycling.
We are investing in our regional railway network, increasing services and building new train stations to connect more communities. We’re exploring options for a transformational mass transit system linking our region together. We’re also working on integrated smart ticketing to improve journeys and options.
Decisions on which projects we invest in are based upon their contribution to supporting clean and inclusive economic growth and fit with the emerging Local Industrial Strategy.
We need more homes for our residents, particularly affordable homes.
A pioneering new West of England Joint Assets Board has been set up to bring together senior leaders from the public sector to look at how we use public land more efficiently and make more land available for much-needed new homes and employment sites.
We are looking at innovation in our house building, with modern methods of construction and carbon neutral homes.
We are also investing in our digital infrastructure to help businesses to improve their productivity. It is also crucial to enabling our residents to access goods and services and to work flexibly from locations across the region. The recent 5G Smart Tourism showcase demonstrated the application of 5G technology in the region and forms part of our ambitions to develop a smart region in the West of England.
Love our High Streets is supporting high streets across the region, with pilot schemes in Midsomer Norton, Bath city centre, Twerton, Bedminster and Kingswood exploring new ways of making high streets fit for the future, including increasing footfall, attracting new uses and improving local facilities.
Through the Devolution Deal the Combined Authority secured £900m over 30 years which we have used to create an Investment Fund. The way in which this Investment Fund operates is set out in the Local Growth Assurance Framework. To date, the only schemes to have been fully approved for funding through the Investment Fund are the Delivery of Real Time Information Systems Upgrade, the West of England Institute of Technology, On Bus Contactless Bank Card Payment and Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood Cycle Links. In addition, to support scheme development and a number of projects have been awarded Feasibility and Development Funding.