SELEP makes bid to boost more projects in west Kent

    Tunbridge Wells

    Several west Kent projects could soon benefit from a significant funding boost if a bid for £229million worth of government funding is successful.

    Orchestrated by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), the bid will help fund 41 projects across Kent, Essex and Sussex, which the organisation believes would unlock a further £756million of private sector investment.

    If the funding is secured, four projects in the boroughs of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge & Malling could collectively be in line for just over £16million. The projects under consideration are listed below:

    • Works to increase capacity of the flood storage area near Leigh and East Peckham to provide protection for existing homes and businesses and to unlock new developments (£4.6million)
    • Investment in infrastructure at the NIAB East Malling Research Biotech Hub to help commercialise new research, develop new crops, create bio-tech solutions and support supply chain resilience (£6.2million)
    • The replacement of the traffic signal junction at Woodsgate Corner in Pembury with a roundabout to help tackle congestion along the A264/A228 and access road to the hospital. (£2.6million)
    • Improvements being made to two key junctions on the B2017 Badsell Road in Paddock Wood to make way for the development of almost 1,000 homes homes (£3million)

    Each of the total of 41 south east projects, many of them delivering new or improved transport infrastructure, have been selected as priorities by the local partnerships to help create jobs and the economy.

    Christian Brodie, Chairman of SELEP, said: “Our bid delivers against the Government’s priorities of creating more jobs, homes and improving skills. Support for it will send a very positive message to existing businesses and inward investors that there is an ambition and appetite to grow the economy of the south east.”

    A decision on the bid is expected before the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in December.