Southend is to receive over £4million from central government to power the Better Queensway project with a modern, efficient electric heating system and roll out electric vehicle charging points across the town centre.
The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) today announced that Better Queensway – the largest housing regeneration project Southend has ever seen – is in line to receive £4.2m from the Government’s £900m Get Building Fund, created to invest in local infrastructure projects to drive economic growth in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
SELEP – which covers the local authority areas of East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock – successfully secured an £85m share of the pot for its area: the largest allocation for any LEP area in the UK.
The regeneration of the Queensway Estate in Southend is set to be carried out by Porters Place Southend-on-Sea LLP – a joint venture between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Swan Housing Association.
The project, which will put local people at the heart of the regeneration, will transform the Queensway area into a vibrant new place which provide high quality housing for residents of all tenures, together with commercial units and high quality and attractive public realm.
This will include new public green spaces and a revitalised entrance to Southend-on-Sea from Southend Victoria station
Cllr Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council, said: “The council, working closely with SELEP has an excellent track record of securing external funding for major projects, and we are very pleased to hear this news.
“This, and other successful projects across the region, highlight the importance of working closely across local authority boundaries to secure government funding for major projects, as we are also seeking to do through the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA).“
“This money will be essential to deliver our energy strategy for the Better Queensway project, which includes the upgrade of the local electrical networks to provide extra capacity to meet new government guidelines on energy use in new homes. This will also ensure we can create sufficient resilience in the local grid to provide the level of electrical vehicle charging that will be needed in central Southend in the future.”
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “As we get Britain building we are also laying the foundations for a green economic recovery by investing in vital infrastructure for local communities, creating jobs and building environmentally friendly homes with a huge £1.3 billion investment announced today.
“This Government is determined to level up all parts of the country and this funding will not only give a much-needed boost to our economic recovery, it will help build the good quality, affordable homes the country needs.”
South East LEP chairman, Christian Brodie said: “We are delighted that government has recognised the excellent projects and potential that the South East has to drive forward our economy at this challenging time.
“These projects have been carefully selected to target those areas and industries particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and those that can progress, at pace, to support economic recovery.
“Over the last few months, we as a LEP have been providing support to local businesses. Our Growth Hubs have been providing advice to struggling businesses and directing businesses to funding support. We have also been reworking our own existing funding pots to create new COVID-19 funds for businesses, infrastructure investment and skills training.
“We truly believe that the South East will help lead the country out of the crisis and into recovery. The Getting Building Fund provides the next phase of financial stimulus to restart our economy.”