Government backing building schemes to create jobs in Dorset – Bournemouth Echo - Freelance Rack

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Government backing building schemes to create jobs in Dorset – Bournemouth Echo

DORSET is getting a much-needed boost with the announcement of an £11.8million government package that should create 264 jobs.

The plans include new border facilities at the Port of Poole, flexible living and working space in Poole’s Old Town and multi-million pound funding for innovations in health, technology and education.

The government’s Getting Building Fund is handing out £900m across the country to “shovel-ready” projects which can boost economic recovery.

It says the money for schemes submitted by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will “deliver an uplift in skills provision, building on Dorset’s existing specialisms in health care and the rural economy”.

Jim Stewart, chair of Dorset LEP, said: “This is a fantastic investment in Dorset from government at a much-needed time.

“This funding will enable capital projects linked to Dorset’s Local Industrial Strategy to be delivered quickly, bringing essential jobs and resources to our community which will accelerate growth in Dorset and help mitigate the economic impacts of Covid-19.”

The package includes:

  • £1.75m for Old Town Creative, a BCP Council plan to close Poole’s Lower High Street to traffic and acquire a site for flexible living and working space. There would be small units for “artisans and creatives” to make and sell their wares at ground floor level.
  • A £2.7m integrated healthcare centre at AECC University College in Pokesdown, piloting a new approach in community rehabilitation.
  • £1.4m for The Institute of Biomedical Materials and Tissue Engineering Research, a project between Bournemouth University and Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust. It will deliver research-led health and medical innovations and lead to the formation of a Dorset Biobank and a nanocomposites laboratory. It will provide education for 1,250 trainees and is estimated to be worth £7m to the Dorset economy.
  • A £365,000 border control post at the Port of Poole for veterinary checks on animal products after the Brexit transition period ends.
  • A public trade office at the Port of Poole, for the movement of freight traffic between the EU and the UK after the end of the transition period, awarded £330,000.
  • The Research Active Dorset Clinical Trials Unit, a facility at Bournemouth University providing a clinical trials service for industry and NHS trusts, with a higher education programme attached. It has been awarded £497,000.
  • An Integrated Care System for Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group, allowing the remote management of hypertension in Dorset patients through software which will monitor blood pressure at home, allocated £300,000.
  • Updated digital infrastructure at Bournemouth and Poole College.
  • A £3.5m university centre and rural business development hub at Kingston Maurward College near Dorchester. It will include a new hall, digital presentation equipment and meeting rooms for teaching and community use.
  • Modernisation, refurbishment and development of Weymouth College’s Higher Education Centre, allowing the college to expand its offer and improve “higher level” skills.

The plans should safeguard another 56 jobs, employ 25 people in construction and unlock 1,685sqm of commercial space, with 1,940sqm of new or improved learning space. They will help 10,750 new learners and 76 businesses.

Ian Girling, chief executive of Dorset Chamber, said: “This is good news for Dorset and will enable a number of key projects to go ahead that will benefit the Dorset economy.

“These projects will create new jobs, improve our infrastructure, unlock land and improve skills provision across the county. We welcome this news.”

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