£100m investment bids made to Level Up Essex
Essex County Council submits £18 million bid for package of transport measures in Tendring and throws its weight behind partners’ funding bids.
Across Essex, bids to secure major funding to improve town centres, transport services and infrastructure as well as community spaces have been submitted to the Government, as part of the national Levelling Up initiative.
Levelling Up is a key priority for Essex County Council (ECC) as set out in its ‘Everyone's Essex: our plan for levelling up the county 2021 to 2025’ strategy.
As part of this, improving communities through reliable and convenient transport and improved infrastructure for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists is vital to help our residents benefit from available employment and training opportunities.
ECC has developed an £18 million package of transport measures for the district of Tendring, which has some of the most deprived communities in the country.
This investment will help Tendring residents to access services and jobs – including potential new employment opportunities created by the redevelopment proposals of Bathside Bay in Harwich, as part of the Freeport East initiative.
The bid has been endorsed by the newly formed Suffolk & North-East Essex Integrated Care Board as well as the University of Essex, due to the benefits that improved transport connectivity will have on people’s health outcomes, particularly those living in coastal communities.
The proposals will improve safety and journey times to and from Clacton via improvements to the A133 and will also enhance bus infrastructure across Tendring.
The bid also supports the rollout of DigiGo, a fully electric, on-demand minibus service as well as cycling route improvements within Harwich and Dovercourt.
These initiatives will help connect residents to employment and training opportunities across rural areas, improving access from Dovercourt Railway Station to the Bayside area, as well as providing more cost effective and sustainable travel options.
The investment will complement other sustainable transport measures launched by ECC, such as Pedal Power, which has delivered over 300 free bikes to residents in Jaywick and Clacton, with another 1,000 due over the coming year and plans to soon be extended to Colchester, Harwich and Dovercourt.
Many Essex district and borough councils have also submitted ambitious Levelling Up proposals for new town centre regeneration and culture-led projects.
Alongside endorsement from a range of notable figures and organisations in the county such as MPs, businesses, community groups and other key delivery partners, ECC has expressed its strong support for bids for investment into Basildon, Braintree, Clacton, Colchester, Harlow, Harwich and Maldon which will make a real difference to communities in these areas.
The proposals include projects that would be delivered primarily by Essex County Council, focussing on new skills and learning spaces, as well as improved transport and public realm.
Together these bids will generate over £100m of investment from the government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up fund.
Councillor Lesley Wagland OBE, ECC Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning, said: “Our transport Levelling Up bid proposal will make a big difference to the ability of Tendring residents to access opportunities, and demonstrates our commitment to doing all we can to ensure the exciting Freeport East project delivers Levelling Up across the whole of Tendring and beyond.
“I am thrilled that our districts and boroughs have also submitted thir own bids. If successful, these funds will go into stronger infrastructure, good jobs, improving connectivity, and all-important town centre regeneration across our county
“Both candidates to be our new Prime Minister have emphasised their commitment to Levelling Up and I am sure they will recognise the importance of investment to Level Up some of the most deprived parts of our country, here in Essex.”