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Gloucestershire LEP's first GIIF project agreed

PUBLISHED: 17:34 20 March 2013 | UPDATED: 21:14 05 April 2013

Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed to fund its first project from the £8.4million Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Fund to create jobs and kick start investment.

Gloucestershire LEPs first GIIF project agreed

Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed to fund its first project from the 8.4million Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Fund to create jobs and kick start investment.

The LEP, which is driven by GFirst, will give a 3m loan to local commercial developer Robert Hitchins Ltd, to construct a new roundabout on the A48 at Lydney. Complete with access roads, associated services and utilities, the project will open up a major mixed use development on the east side of Lydney, providing vital connections to the nearby Hurst Farm employment site, which will secure around 1,000 new houses and 1,600 jobs.

Diane Savory, chair of the Gloucestershire LEP said: As happy as we were to secure cash from the Growing Places Fund for Gloucestershire, I am delighted that the first project is about to deliver. The project is very real and opens up the prospect of hundreds of new Gloucestershire jobs, as well as affordable housing.

Andrew Hill, Land Director for Robert Hitchins, said The money from the Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Fund will enable this scheme to get started. It is likely to begin in the latter part of this year.

After successfully pitching for 8.4m of the Governments Growing Places Fund, Gloucestershire LEP created the Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Fund, which aims to create jobs and unlock stalled developments. The LEP then launched an Investment Panel, which is made up of Gloucestershire LEP, local business and local authority representatives, to analyse the detailed business cases of the projects before a final decision was made by the LEP Board.

Gloucestershire County Council acted as accountable body for the fund, while the strategic planning context was provided by the Forest of Dean District Council.

Councillor Patrick Molyneux, leader of the Forest of Dean District Council said This is fantastic news not just for Lydney but also for the entire District as it unlocks much needed land for both employment and housing.

The Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Fund indicates a new way forward for the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership as it secures money, assesses infrastructure needs and delivers investment to stimulate and encourage private sector economic growth. It is a revolving fund, which will see the money paid back within a few years to enable investment in other projects.

David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst is keen to emphasise that other Gloucestershire projects can still benefit from the fund.

He said: This major project happens to be in the Forest of Dean, with our LEP Board approving a funding award of 3m. We still have over 5m yet to allocate from the fund, and therefore the LEP is keen to encourage further expressions of interest from other parties who may be seeking funding for essential infrastructure to enable them to bring forward sites for development right across Gloucestershire. Projects do not have to be on this scale.

Details and guidance about the Gloucestershire Infrastructure Investment Fund can be found atwww.gloslep.co.uk/gloucestershire-infrastructure-investment-fund.aspx

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