HAMPSHIRE is set to benefit from thousands of new jobs after the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was awarded £118million in funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund today.

The Government announced this morning that the Enterprise M3 LEP has been awarded the funding in a deal to help create 8,000 new jobs and to allow more than 7,000 new homes to be built across Hampshire and Surrey.

This includes £35million which has been confirmed for 2015/16 to support economic growth in the Enterprise M3 area, which stretches from North West Hampshire to South West Surrey, by investing in key infrastructure projects.

The partnership plans to spend £5million for a 5G project at the University of Surrey, over £88million for transport schemes to unlock housing, reduce congestion and improve sustainable transport, £13million on key skill centres across the four corners of the Enterprise M3 area, £10million to secure supported housing in the partnership area and £1million to support the Enterprise M3 Growth Hub.

It is hoped that the investment from the Government will attract at least £310million of additional investment from local partners, including the private sector.

Basingstoke has already benefitted from investment in infrastructure from the partnership, including £2.5million of funding to enable Sentinel to deliver 550 new homes at the former Eli Lilly and Liverpool Victoria sites, in Kingsclere Road.

The partnership also successfully submitted a bid for cash from the Government in 2012 to help fund the redevelopment of Black Dam roundabout.

As a result of the additional funding announced today, future improvement work is set to take place on the A340, which connects Basingstoke and Tadley, which will include part dualling of the road.

The partnership, which brings together local, national and private funding, has set out four key priorities, including: 

• Supporting enterprise and 5G technology. 

• Growing the skills base in the region. 

• Accelerating housing delivery. 

• Enhancing urban and rural connectivity.

Geoff French, chairman of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This funding is excellent news for the Enterprise M3 area. It emphasises the value that central Government places on safeguarding the global competitiveness of this important Sci:Tech corridor for the UK economy as a whole.

He added: “It reinforces the confidence government has in our ability to action the various projects we have received funding for.”