Saturday, June 25, 2022

Bid for £40m ‘Levelling Up’ Link Road confirmed

Nottinghamshire County Council is preparing a bid worth approximately £40m to fund the planned Toton Link Road as part of the government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.

It follows the council formally taking the key decision to apply to the Levelling Up Fund for the multi-million-pound sum needed to build the ‘transformative’ road, which would unlock jobs, housing and business growth.

Plans for the link road were rubber-stamped by county councillors last year – with pre-construction work already underway – but it is hoped that a solid bid to the Levelling Up Fund will lead to the government fully financing it. A decision is expected in October.

Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Ben Bradley MP, said: “The Toton Link Road is a transformative project – the council will be putting a strong, clear case to government for the £40m needed to construct the road from the Levelling Up Fund.

“The ripple effect of the Toton Link Road will be huge, including being an attractive asset for the development of homes and commercial space in our county.

“It will play a vital role in Nottinghamshire’s economic future by unlocking vital job, housing and investment opportunities in the years to come.

“I know big picture transport schemes are critical to levelling up plans – I’m hoping that the Toton Link Road will fit the government’s ambitious agenda, and we will secure funding for this major infrastructure project here in Nottinghamshire.”

In its application to the Levelling Up Fund, the council will outline how the new, multi-connected boulevard will make a direct contribution to Nottinghamshire’s economic growth.

This will include boosting local transport, with the link road planned to be built alongside the A52 and M1, giving direct access to the NET tram network and the potential new Network Rail station at Toton outlined in the Integrated Rail Plan.

Cabinet member for economic development and asset management, Councillor Keith Girling, says the council will be submitting a ‘robust case’ for funding from the government to build the link road.

He said: “Both Councillor Bradley and I are looking forward to submitting a robust application to Levelling Up Fund, so we can secure the £40m we think we deserve here in Nottinghamshire.

“The transport benefits of the Toton Link Road are countless, connecting our residents to multiple forms of travel, which will ease congestion.”

As part of its bid for the £40m, the council will explain how the Toton Link Road will enable wider plans for growth that are being worked up by the East Midlands Development Company (DevCo).

The DevCo has been setup by five local authorities to coordinate development around the Toton-Chetwynd corridor, Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station area and the East Midlands Airport area.

Richard Carr, Managing Director of the DevCo believes that the county council’s Levelling Up Fund bid can ‘accelerate progress’ at Toton and Chetwynd.

He said: “The county council’s application for levelling-up funding for the link road is a major opportunity for the DevCo to accelerate progress at Toton and Chetwynd.

“The Toton Link Road will open up the prospect of high-quality development, delivering benefits from community to economy level.

“The link road is an important part of our plans, as we bring forward proposals across our three sites which could create 84,000 jobs and add £4.8bn to the value of the East Midlands economy.”

It is hoped that the DevCo will soon gain statutory powers, after the government flagged the East Midlands’ case for a new type of development corporation in its Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill as an ‘expedient’ mechanism for council areas to join forces and deliver growth.

Councillor Bradley added: “I’m excited how the link road is vital to the East Midlands Development Corporation’s ambitions to supercharge our regional economy.

“The DevCo is planning a once-in-a-generation programme which will deliver benefits from community to economy level, and both our county and our region can reap the rewards.”

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