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5,000 new jobs and 1,000 homes as government awards £46.7m new Growth Deal funding

The windfall will help kickstart a total ten projects across the area, including the expansion of Milton Keynes Gallery, the regeneration of Bedford town centre, the Vulcan Ironworks creative hub in Northampton and investment into Millbrook Technology Park.
The cash has been secured through the second round of the government’s Local Growth Deal and will form part of the 2016/17 budget.
SEMLEP chair Ann Limb (pictured) said: “The projects build on the strengths of our area as identified in our Strategic Economic Plan investing in key assets such as Millbrook Proving Ground and Cranfield University and our key sectors including advanced engineering and the cultural and creative sector to deliver highly skilled jobs.”
Central Bedfordshire Council leader Cllr James Jamieson said: “The investment in Millbrook Proving Ground, for example, will create a high quality centre of excellence for innovative automotive research and small scale production enabling more companies to be located on site.
“This will create around 60 highly skilled jobs initially within the automotive engineering and technology sectors with significantly more to follow with the extensive development planned for this site.”
Milton Keynes MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart have welcomed the award. In a joint statement, they said: “We are delighted to hear that an extra £47 million has been allocated to the South East Midlands. The original growth deal will be a great boost to Milton Keynes with projects such as dualling the remainder of the A421.
“This extra investment take us even further and we are particularly excited about the Cranfield University Autonomous Vehicle Project.”
Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “This is a huge boost for our project to deliver a comprehensive decongestion plan for Bedford town centre, featuring the much-needed new road bridge river crossing. 
“We knew that the bid we made, via SEMLEP with its support, made a powerful case for the project and the benefits it will deliver for future economic growth in Bedford town centre. 
“We are delighted that the government has recognised those benefits and is making this major contribution, via SEMLEP, to our efforts to bring the project forward.”
The investment package will fund:
Cranfield University Development of an open innovation facility allowing for the integrated development of autonomous transport vehicles and related complex intelligent systems.
University of Buckingham New building on Milton Keynes hospital site to house University medical teaching school, including research activities as well as staff accommodation.
Milton Keynes Development and enhancement of Milton Keynes Gallery, as part of a wider town regeneration programme, quadrupling annual audience numbers to the gallery from 30,000 to 120,000, enabling major shows to be attracted, and becoming a stronger destination venue in the South East Midlands.
Bedford Remodelling of town centre road network and support delivery of adjacent Riverside North redevelopment via highways infrastructure provision, including: Improved river crossing; enhance access to the town centre; and streetscape improvements to High Street.
Bedford College New building comprising electronics, electrical power and robotics laboratories, IT rooms and key equipment including CAD / Cam and 3D printing facilities, providing skills development support for the electronics, engineering and construction sectors.
Marston Vale Innovation Park Gateway infrastructure works for Marston Vale Innovation Park, including site access road, utilities and initial unit supporting the establishment and growth of advanced technology and engineering businesses.
Millbrook Technology Park The infrastructure project will create a high quality centre of excellence for innovative automotive research, development and small scale production enabling more companies to be located on site, creating a significant number of highly skilled jobs within the automotive engineering and technology sectors.
M1 to A6 (Phase 1 M1 to Sundon Park Road)
Northampton The Vulcan Works Project, which is located in SEMLEP’s Waterside Enterprise Zone, will deliver a ‘creative industries hub’ of managed workspace to support the local creative business community in both Northampton and the wider area.
Cllr David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “This additional investment package is excellent news for Northampton and the South East Midlands, which builds on the strengths of the area.
“The Vulcan Works Project, which is located in the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, will deliver a ‘creative industries hub’ of managed workspace to support high level skills in the local creative business community in Northampton and the wider SEMLEP area.” 
Aylesbury Public realm and outdoor events infrastructure to support and enable overall Masterplan for Waterside North.
Cllr Neil Blake, leader of Aylesbury Vale District Council said: “This package of investment is excellent news for the whole SEMLEP area. The Waterside North project in Aylesbury will enable the delivery of the Masterplan for this area in the centre of Aylesbury with over 1,000 new jobs.
“There will also be an outdoor events infrastructure to be used, among other things, for events surrounding the torch lighting ceremony as home of the Paralympics. This is great news for the residents of Aylesbury.” 
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “The £46.7million funding we have announced today will help make a real difference to local people’s lives by boosting the local economy."