Government's Growth Deal backs the University of Essex’s Innovation Centre at Knowledge Gateway

By Romi Neale in Community News

SEVEN projects in Essex have been earmarked for funding from the Government this week to drive growth and job creation in the region.

Grants worth £2m have been awarded to the Innovation Centre as part of a cash injection of £102m targeted at capital projects in the south east. Andrew Percy MP, Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government, announced the on Thursday Feburary 2.

Read SELEP’s plans in the latest Growth Deal

The funding will be delivered through the Local Growth Fund overseen by South East Local Enterprise Partnership which covers East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock.

University of Essex Registrar Bryn Morris said: “This funding will help us forge ahead with our plans for our £10m Innovation Centre, which will offer a vibrant home to more than 50 start-up businesses. Those businesses will be able to benefit from practical, hands-on support and expertise which will help them to scale-up, and succeed.

"On their doorstep at our Colchester Campus will be our world-class researchers, student and graduate talent, and excellent facilities. This next step in the development of the Knowledge Gateway research and technology park shows our commitment to becoming the location of choice in the eastern region for knowledge-based enterprises in science, technology and the creative sector.”

The other projects in Essex, Southend and Thurrock are Southend Airport Business Park Phase 2, Gilden Way upgrading in Harlow, Technical and Professional Skills Centre at Stansted Airport, STEM Innovation Campus at Colchester Institute, A127 at Fairglen, M11 junction 8 improvements and Grays South.

SELEP Chairman Christian Brodie said: “This Growth Deal settlement is a huge boost for the economy across the whole Essex area.

“We have secured funding to channel significant investment into the projects, which are of highest priority to our businesses and local areas.”

George Kieffer, SELEP Vice Chairman for Essex, said: “This investment enables us to drive forward our shared growth agenda delivering economic growth, new jobs, facilitating housing, improving connectivity and boosting skills.

“The additional funding that will be leveraged into the South East as a result of these investments is testament to the continued success of our area.”

This latest award of Local Growth Funding is on top of £488 million of Growth Deals monies already awarded to the SELEP. This latest investment of £102m will deliver an additional 6,129 new homes, create or safeguard 30,785 jobs and secure a further £141 million of private sector investment across the region.

In total the SELEP Growth Deal from 2014 - 2020 now stands at £590.8m which is set to deliver 78,000 jobs, 29,000 homes in total and attract a further £960 million extra investment into the South East over the next five years.

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