CABINET CALL: By South Holland District Council deputy leader Nick Worth
South Holland District Council has recently become a member of the Greater Cambridgeshire Great Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership.
Local Enterprise Partnerships are drawing massive investment funding from central government to invest in infrastructure.
We are already a member of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP which has enabled us to draw £4.8m from central government for infrastructure (Peppermint Junction roundabout) and the agri-food industry.
Schemes such as the Spalding Western By-pass are now at the top of the Lincolnshire LEP’s future plans for investment, along with dualling the A17 from Holbeach to Sutterton as part of improvements to the food corridor to that goes to the east coast.
Having spoken to many business in the area, I am acutely aware that most South Holland companies point in the direction of Peterborough rather than Lincolnshire, mainly due to road and rail infrastructure, hence our reason for joining the Cambridgeshire Peterborough LEP.
Our priorities here are dualling the A16, dualling the A17 at the Norfolk end, increasing the skills base to match the anticipated rise in high tech industry in the area and aligning those to courses put on by colleges in Lincolnshire and Peterborough.
At the innovation end to work closely with both Cambridge and Lincoln Universities to ensure that the Agri-Food Centre of Excellence keeps our local industries at the forefront of technology and competitiveness world-wide, providing higher skilled and better paid jobs and attracting high tech businesses to the area.
Equally important to South Holland and the Cambridgeshire Peterborough LEP is the housing industry with clear links to more jobs, infrastructure and inward investment which will have a huge impact on the South Holland economy as a whole.
There are clear benefits from being members of both LEPs that will compliment each other and have massive spin offs in terms of our town centres and the economy and wellbeing of South Holland residents in the future.
Like most local authorities, South Holland District Council only has a small budget, but it can more than make up for that by using its influence and by bringing partners and packages together to enable these massive projects to come to fruition.
While Rome wasn’t built in a day, I feel we are on a roll and I will be working with businesses and both LEPs to ensure we keep the foot on the pedal.