Prime Minister Boris Johnson today (Tuesday 30 June) announced a “New Deal” backed by £152.1 million to boost economic growth across London and the South East.
This comprehensive plan to ‘build, build, build’ will deliver upgrades to local infrastructure and boost skills in a move to fuel economic recovery in London and the South East and across the whole of the UK.
This New Deal includes up to £144.6 million to fund shovel-ready projects across London and the South East to help provide a boost to the local economy and create jobs. This investment is being targeted on areas that are facing the biggest economic challenges as a result of the pandemic and the Government is agreeing with each area the projects that will be most valuable in restarting economies.
This could include schemes such as the Crawley Innovation Centre, which aims to establish the Gatwick Diamond’s first Innovation Centre, unlocking prized high value jobs to boost the local economy, and the Port of Southampton Cruise Terminal that would deliver a world leading zero emissions facility.
In his speech today, the PM set out the first steps in the plan to rebuild the country, address long-standing, unresolved challenges and level up across all the regions of the UK.
“In those towns that feel left behind we have plans to invest in their centres, with new academy schools, new green buses, new broadband and we want to make them places where people have the confidence to stay, to raise their families, to start businesses, and not to feel that all the action is in the cities or in the metropolis.”
Recognising that now more than ever it is crucial our towns and high streets get the support they need, the Prime Minister also announced that funding will be brought forward for nine towns across the region to help them meet the immediate challenges they face due to the pandemic.
Whether to improve outdoor spaces, build cycle lanes or improve their town centres, this fast tracking of investment totalling £7.5 million will help kick-start activity in towns and high streets across London and the South East, ensuring local people can see and feel the benefit as soon as possible.
Welcoming the New Deal Simon Clarke MP, Minister for Regional Growth, said:
“As we have faced one of the most significant challenges of our time, this Government has stepped in to support our local businesses, public services and communities. But we have never lost sight of our mission to unite and level up and today’s support package shows we are more committed to that aim than ever.
“Today’s announcement means £144.6 million extra for transport, broadband and skills in London and the South East, and investment delivered faster for nine towns. This is a real statement of intent as we work to get London and the South East firing on all cylinders again.”
Spring Budget 2020 set out ambitious plan to invest in our future prosperity. Today’s announcement redoubles government’s efforts to get on with this now, in support of economic recovery and jobs right across the country.
To support the ambition to ‘build build build’, in the Autumn the government will also publish a National Infrastructure Strategy which will set a clear direction on core economic infrastructure, including energy networks, road and rail, flood defences and waste.