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£9m Growth Deal award is ‘a major vote of confidence for our businesses’

The money, negotiated by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership  will bring the total fund secured to £128.5 million. These funds will be invested in top priority projects in Northamptonshire, driving significant improvements in infrastructure, unlocking housing projects and building skills and jobs.

The additional funds follow the submission of NEP’s Strategic Economic Plan to government last year.

This afternoon (Thursday), Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Elizabeth Truss, will visit Moulton College’s Moulton Campus, which will benefit from the additional funding.

She will be joined by NEP chairman John Markham, chief executive Jo Lappin, NEP and Food & Drink Strategy board members and the college’s chief executive and chairman.

Moulton College is to receive £3.5 million to help fund its new £5 million Food & Drink Technology Academy.

The academy will provide technical and vocational training for an industry which employs 46,000 people and contributes over £1.5 billion to the Northamptonshire economy.

A further £5.5 million of the additional funds will go towards the £18 million dualling of the A43 between the Moulton and Holcot/Sywell roundabouts.  This will lead to the building of 1,500 new homes.

The Growth Deal is already supporting improvements to the A43 between Round Spinney and Moulton roundabouts ahead of the first 2,000 houses at Northampton North/Overstone Leys. 

Mr Markham said: “I welcome this further £9 million of Local Growth Funding from government which, together with the £119.5million that NEP secured in Growth Deal Phase 1, allows us to fund two of our top priority projects – the Food and Drink Academy at Moulton College and Phase 2 of the A43 road scheme.

“This further investment clearly demonstrates that government recognises Northamptonshire’s growth potential and is investing in this.”

NEP chief executive Jo Lappin added: “This is really good news for Northamptonshire and is another major vote of confidence for our businesses, people and communities. This provides further impetus to Northamptonshire’s ambition to achieve unprecedented local economic growth from £16 billion to £20 billion in seven years.”

The fiunding will help to create the NEP’s target of 32,500 new jobs, 1,600 new businesses start-ups and 37,000 new homes by 2021.

“It will enable even further investment in an effective infrastructure and the linking of skills with businesses, making sure that Northamptonshire’s key sectors benefit from an abundant and appropriately skilled local workforce.”

Northamptonshire County Council leader Cllr Jim Harker said: “Government’s decision to provide £5.5 million towards the £dualling of the A43 between the Moulton and Holcot/Sywell roundabouts is excellent news for Northamptonshire’s economy, as it will open up a number of important development areas.

“I’m sure that this news will be welcomed by local residents, who recognise that this is a real pinchpoint.”

The food and drink industry employs 46,000 people in Northamptonshire and contributes over £1.5 billion to the local economy.

Moulton College principal Stephen Davies said: "It is essential that we provide people with the right skills to support the sector’s growth.”

News of the additional Growth Deal funding comes just after the new Cities Outlook report from Centre for Cities, which ranked Northampton as one of the best places in the country for new business start-ups 

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