31m SME fund launched

Government announces £31m SME fund

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has launched a new £31.02m fund for the Solent to create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth.

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will establish a Solent Productivity Investment Fund to invest in local skills and infrastructure projects.

In total, £25.7m of the fund will be used to build the Stubbington Bypass, which will improve connectivity of the Solent Enterprise Zone, Fareham and the Gosport peninsula.

This new deal will be in addition to the £151.9m of funding already awarded to the Solent LEP.

The overall award could see the creation of 6,500 new jobs, 12,000 new homes and attract £600m in additional investment over the next five years.

The Solent LEP will also trigger the next phase of the Centenary Quay development in Southampton.

This development is expected to bring £64m of additional private sector investment and result in the construction of more than 340 new homes.

Mr Javid said: “As part of efforts to deliver an economy that works for everyone, the government is devolving powers and resources directly from Whitehall to local people who know their areas best.

“That is why we’re giving £31.02m [of] new money to the Solent to give businesses the support and opportunities they need to achieve their potential – on top of the £151.9m we have already awarded.”

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