The deal will see £80 million of government investment into the region.
The Deputy Prime Minister joined Gordon Page of the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership to sign the deal. Over the lifetime of its Deal (2015 to 2021) the Local Enterprise Partnership estimates that:
- up to 26,000 new jobs could be created
- 3,000 new homes built
- the deal has the potential to generate £650 million public and private investment
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:
This £80 million investment will be brilliant for Dorset, it will help boost the economy and create a fairer society, providing more jobs, better transport and affordable homes.
I’m here in Dorset today to sign this deal which crucially devolves important powers to local councils and businesses, allowing those with local knowledge to make the decisions that will see the region thrive for years to come.
Projects chosen by the people of Dorset will improve infrastructure, build thousands of new homes, create thousands of new jobs and provide new training opportunities for young people to enable future prosperity in the region.
The Growth Deal will bring together local, national and private funding, as well as new freedoms and flexibilities. Projects funded by the Growth Deal include:
- road improvements to the A338 Wessex Way to Wessex Fields business area which will unlock over 2,500 jobs as well as improving access to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital
- business support to new digital and creative industry sector businesses in a new building at Bournemouth University and Arts University
- construction of a Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory (MEMO), on the Isle of Portland overlooking the Jurassic Coast, which will be a high profile visitor site
- cutting edge equipment and enhanced building facilities at Kingston Mauward College which will develop the skills which will help businesses in the agriculture technology sector
- a masterplan for Weymouth town centre which will bring together potential developers, residents and the business community
- an expansion of £12.6 million of government funding was announced on 29 January – on top of £66.4 million of funding committed by the government on 7 July 2014
In addition, the government is supportive of the project to develop the Holes Bay site in Poole, which can deliver 1,500 new homes, and will advance funding discussions between the LEP and the Homes and Communities Agency.
The Dorset Growth Deal is part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the national economy – building on the strength of the Dorset area.