Ambitious regeneration plans by Bath and North East Somerset Council, to create new jobs and improve transport in the Somer Valley, are in line to secure a £50,000 funding boost.
The money has been earmarked by the West of England Joint Committee for the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone - a 13.5 hectare greenfield site on the A362 between Midsomer Norton and Paulton more commonly known as Old Mills.
The site was awarded its Enterprise Zone status last April by the government following a successful application by Bath and North East Somerset Council which is already investing £343,000 in the job-creation project.
Enterprise Zones are designated areas across England which encourage business growth and new jobs by providing tax breaks and government support.
It means any businesses that locate to the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone may be eligible for 100% business rates relief and will be able to access super-fast broadband.
The is West of England Joint Committee recommended to grant £50,000 funding, when it meets on February 2. The committee is the decision-making body for issues relating to the West of England Combined Authority, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils, and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Councillor Paul Myers, (Conservative, Midsomer Norton Redfield), Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “There is an urgent need to promote employment and create job opportunities in the Somer Valley and this investment in the Enterprise Zone will help deliver this and support local economic growth.
“We have already appointed a project manager to oversee the scheme and would welcome this funding, from the West of England Joint Committee, alongside money we have also secured for improvements on the A362.”
Once complete, the development will provide up to 54,000 sqm of commercial space creating 1,700 new jobs for local people and increased prosperity for the area.
The development will co-ordinate with the work being undertaken to bring forward improvements to the A362, which serves the Old Mills site and is being funded by the £280,000 recently awarded to the area by the West of England Combined Authority..
Development of the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone will be phased with the first stage of construction planned to begin in 2018. Highway improvements and enabling works for future phases of development will follow and it is hoped that by 2020 7,000 sqm of employment space will have been constructed and the first phase complete by 2021.
Following extensive public consultation, the council’s adopted Core Strategy and Place Making Plan designated the Old Mills site an area for regeneration. For more information about the Bath and Somer Valley Enterprise Zone, including business rates relief visit www.investinbath.co.uk/EZ
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