Funding bid for new floating bridge

By Martin Neville

Thursday, April 10, 2014

 

Funding bid for new floating bridge

Solent LEP has submitted a bid for funding for a new Cowes chain ferry. Picture by Peter Boam.

A NEW floating bridge could be funded through the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), as part of ambitious plans to be discussed next week.

The LEP has submitted its Solent Strategic Economic Plan to government in the hope of attracting new investment through the Local Growth Deal for a range of schemes, including key projects on the Isle of Wight.

Among them is the creation of a new Isle of Wight Centre of Excellence for Composites, Advanced Manufacturing and Marine Technology, led by GKN.

The centre would be based at the Island Technology Park, Whippingham, next to GKN’s research and development facility, and accommodate around 600 learners.

The plan also proposes local Enterprise Zones within Cowes and East Cowes and an Isle of Wight Infrastructure expansion fund to assist companies create badly needed Island jobs.

Support is also being sought for Red Funnel’s terminal project at East Cowes and Southampton, including funding for a new floating bridge, and a £2.9m estate renewal and refurbishment programme at the Isle of Wight College.

The details have been revealed in a report due to go before the Isle of Wight Council’s Economy and Tourism Executive Advisory Committee next Thursday.

Welcoming the plan, Steve Butler, of the Isle of Wight Trades Union Congress (TUC), said: "We should be getting more money from the Solent LEP and government."

View the reports below:

Isle of Wight Council Economy and Tourism Executive Advisory Committee

Solent Strategic Economic Plan

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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