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Groundbreaking projects in Gloucestershire get the green light

PUBLISHED: 14:16 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:16 21 May 2018

Gloucester railway station

Gloucester railway station

Archant

Millions of pounds of Growth Deal funding has been awarded to four major projects across the county by GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership

A Dragon’s Den style event for nine potential projects took place earlier this year to members of the GFirst LEP Board.

Speaking about the projects, Diane Savory OBE and Chair of GFirst LEP, said: “The four projects that have received funding will make a real tangible difference to the lives of people living and working in Gloucestershire, I am excited to see how they all progress and come to fruition.”

Gloucester Railway Station will receive £3.75 million to redevelop the underpass that links Great Western Road to Gloucester City centre. The project will transform connectivity between the fast developing housing and employment areas and the city centre. The project will transform the look and feel of the railway station, giving Gloucester a station to be proud of.

Richard Graham MP for Gloucester said: “This funding is a great result for a good cause - the improvement of our train station and area around it, something I’ve been working on for the last eight years.

“Gloucestershire Royal Hospital staff will be delighted when the infamous underpass is sorted and drivers will appreciate a new car park exit onto Metz Way and less traffic. Overall, it will create a better station, transport hub, cycle and pedestrian routes to the city centre and a better link to our hospital.”

Cllr Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council, added: “Working with GWR, Network Rail and Gloucestershire County Council, the investment at the Railway Station will not only create a much better environment for passengers but will also provide a safer, more attractive access and improve the connectivity of the city.”

Hartpury College will receive £1million towards its ‘Tech to Plate’ concept. The programme consists of an Agri Tech Centre aimed at using applied technology in livestock production to maximise productivity and quality through the application of precision farming techniques – ‘smart farming techniques’.

The ‘Tech to Plate’ concept is complementary to the Farm 491 project, a space providing high-spec facilities for innovators to grow their businesses, which previously received Growth Deal funding.

Russell Marchant, Principal of Hartpury College, said: “I am delighted that this project will now take off.

“The future of farm productivity will rely increasingly on the application of technology to improve productivity. This is hopefully just the start of Gloucestershire playing a leading role in Agri Tech innovation at RAU and application here at Hartpury.”

Gloucestershire Airport will receive £1.885 million to create new access from the B4063. This investment in infrastructure will directly lead to further exciting developments at the airfield for businesses which are keen to capitalise on this great opportunity to be part of the airport. This project will deliver new employment land, leading to the creation of 85 new jobs.

Mark Ryan, Managing Director of Gloucestershire Airport, said: “Gloucestershire Airport is delighted with the announcement as this supports the GFirst LEP Strategic Economic Plan by maximising the airport’s contribution to the local economy through direct and indirect employment, along with growing an important cluster of aviation related and other economic activity in Gloucestershire.”

Finally, Merrywalks Shopping Centre in Stroud has been awarded £3 million, as part of a substantial investment in the shopping centre and its car park which will have a transformational effect on the town centre.

The main aim of the regeneration project is to ensure the continued success of Stroud Town Centre and to encourage residents to shop local.

Managing Director of Dransfield Properties, Mark Dransfield, said: “Our company has worked in market towns to deliver successful and sustainable developments for more than 25 years and we are looking forward to having the opportunity to work with GFirst LEP, the local authority and other stakeholders on a major transformation of The Merrywalks Centre in Stroud.

“This kind of partnership approach is vital to bringing forward real and sustainable change and we are extremely heartened by the positive response we have received.

“Our plans are at an early stage, but we are excited at the prospect of working together in this beautiful market town to create a well-linked and attractive centre.”

For more information, visit the GFirst LEP website.

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