The West of England Combined Authority will discuss investing an additional £2.5m in homes, skills and transport at its next meeting at The Kingswood Centre in South Gloucestershire on Friday July 27, at 10.30 am.
The Combined Authority is chaired by the Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles, and is made up of the leaders and Mayor from the three councils in the region – Bath & North East Somerset (Leader, Cllr Tim Warren), Bristol City Council (Mayor Marvin Rees) and South Gloucestershire Council (Leader, Cllr Toby Savage). The Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Professor Steve West, also attends committee meetings.
Members will be asked to allocate £2.5m for new projects, including £1m to develop the region’s bid to the Government Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) for £250m for the Bristol Temple Meads to Keynsham corridor. Securing the £250m would improve transport links and unlock sites for new homes. The HIF bidding process is highly competitive and it is essential that the region produces a stand-out bid, including detailed transport and economic modelling.
The committee will discuss investing over £1m in local colleges to kick-start new projects to benefit local learners and businesses. South Gloucestershire and Stroud College has requested £589,578 to develop a detailed business case for sub-regional Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths Hub at its West of England Institute of Specialist Education (WISE) campus at Stoke Gifford. Bath College has requested £195,200 to put together a business case to refurbish its Catering and Hospitality Education and Training Hub. This would create a state-of-the- art hub with specialist training facilities to keep pace with the growing demand for hospitality and catering sector skills. It has also requested £401,000 for a business case for a digital and creative innovation centre at the Bath city centre campus. The work to produce these business cases will fully develop the projects so that they are ready to be delivered if funding is identified. It will include detailed architectural design and costing and progressing planning consent.
The committee will also consider allocating an additional £400,000 into its current Investment Fund Programme, further developing business cases for new transport schemes, to support the Joint Spatial Plan.
Members of the Combined Authority will also receive an update on the Joint Local Transport Plan and Bus Strategy, and consider proposals to establish a West of England Development Panel and Joint Assets Board. The Development Panel would include expert landowners, developers and investors and would ensure future developments are high quality, innovative, sustainable, healthy and attractive. The aim of the Joint Assets Board would be to explore and identify opportunities for the improved management and better use of public land and property across the West of England.
The meeting will be webcast live at www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/meetings/
Meeting papers can also be found on this page.