FUNDING: A total of £66.3m in Government funding has been set aside for the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to improve infrastructure in Dorset.

The ‘Growth Deal’ is part of a £12bn long-programme aimed to revamp local economics. Dorset’s portion will enable Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) to improve access to the port, by completing a town-side access road scheme, maintaining the original bridge crossing, unlocking growth potential and assisting new redevelopment sites in Poole.

“The new transport projects will provide critical infrastructure for the Port of Poole and 26 hectares of brownfield land, which will be one of the largest regeneration areas in the South West,” said Jim Stewart, chief executive, PHC.

“We are delighted that Dorset has received funding from the Growth Deal as part of the Dorset LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan as this link is so vital to Poole’s economy,” he added.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited the Port of Poole to learn how the funds will make a tangible difference to Dorset’s economy. An initial £23.9m will be invested in the first year, with a further £42.4m from 2016/17.