Growth Point Statement on Proposed Cuts

 

Statement from Growth Point's Projects Director July 2010.

"It has been a challenging time for us since the election in May this year, in the light of impending budget reviews and the new coalition Government's emerging policies. The picture is not entirely clear yet and probably won't be until after the Government's Comprehensive Spending review on October 20th.

In the meantime, further announcements are being made on an almost daily basis and we have been able to identify themes which are consistent with what we are trying to achieve in the Growth Point and seek reassurance on the level of public funding that is still committed for our projects.

The Government has announced that funding for all transport projects is now under review, even those that had reached an advanced stage of the approval process. We are particularly concerned about the scheme to improve safety and capacity at Junction 29 of the M5, which is crucial to the delivery of the Science Park project and to enable Skypark to reach its full potential. Funding for this scheme also needs to come from the South West Regional Development Agency's Regional Infrastructure Fund (RIF), and whilst the Government has announced the abolition of this organisation, transitional arrangements, together with the associated budgets, are still unclear. However, we can confirm that the RIF money set aside for the Clyst Honiton Bypass, the main route in Cranbrook and the first primary school is still secure. The money for the school has been deferred to the financial period 2011/12, although it is not anticipated that this will affect the build programme.

The Cranbrook consortium of housebuilders, are still hopeful that they will be able to get on site by the end of this year, or the beginning of 2011, although they still need to secure a housing grant from the Homes and Communities Agency to deliver affordable housing.  Other funding which is under review is the Growth Point Funding and the Government have recently announced that our 2010/11 capital allocation has been safeguarded, pending submission of a statement from the Growth Point demonstrating progress and community engagement.  This money has been allocated towards delivering the Bypass and the first community building in Cranbrook. 

Despite the challenges, we have made excellent progress on the major projects, with outline planning consent being issued for both the Science Park and Skypark Business Park and detailed planning consent for the Energy Centre. The Flybe Academy building adjacent to Exeter Airport is now well underway, with the building clearly visible from the A30 and work has commenced on the landmark bridge project close to J29 on the M5.

We remain committed to the delivery of these strategic projects and are continuing to work with our partners in both the public and private sector to secure investment and enable the delivery of much needed homes and jobs in the local area."