Dorset LEP
Miranda Dobson

MPs support Dorset LEP bid for City Deal

Dorset’s Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has received backing from MPs for its City Deal bid.

Members of the LEP’s board met with MPs on Tuesday to discuss opportunities for the Dorset region, which the bid outlines.

Dorset is fighting for one of 20 City Deals to be provided by the Government with the aim of delivering growth and unlocking projects within the winning regions.

The LEP’s bid, which will cover the Bournemouth and Poole City Region, focuses on potential investment sites and the removal of barriers to economic growth.

Major projects outlined in the bid included infrastructure improvements at Bournemouth Airport and the Port of Poole, as well as better transport links Canford Bottom and Blackwater, which the LEP said can only come to fruition with government support.

Gordon Page, chair of the Dorset LEP, commented: “Whilst doing well, the Bournemouth and Poole City Region is not reaching its full potential.

“We have two key sites that are capable of delivering significant economic growth and jobs, namely Bournemouth Airport and the Port of Poole.

“However there are a number of issues preventing this and the biggest challenge is improving access and connectivity to make them viable.”

Mr Page added: “Our plans for the area are ambitious and we need the Government’s support to inject the pace.

“We have companies that want to locate to this region and we have companies that want to grow. This deal would provide accessibility to over 85 hectares of new employment land, which will enable jobs to be created and businesses to grow.”

Annette Brookes, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, said: “The whole concept of giving more power from Westminster to local people to generate economic growth is right.

“I very much hope this excellent bid succeeds and puts local businesses and local authorities in the driving seat to achieve prosperity across Dorset.”

The Government is expected to reveal which regions have secured City Deal packages by the middle of February 2013.

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