Breaking News: Growth Deal Funding

Four major projects for the county have funding confirmed by GFirst LEP

Nearly £10 million of Growth Deal funding has been awarded to four major projects across the county by GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership.

A ‘Dragon’s Den’ style event for nine potential projects took place in January 2018 to members of the GFirst LEP Board. The full Board met on Tuesday 20th February to make their final decision.

Speaking about the projects, Diane Savory OBE and Chair of GFirst LEP said: “The four projects that have received funding today will make a real tangible difference to the lives of people living and working in Gloucestershire, I am excited to see how they all progress and come to fruition.”

The four projects are;

  1. Gloucester Railway Station will receive £3.75million to redevelop the underpass that links Great Western Road (where Gloucester Royal Hospital is based) to Gloucester City centre. The project will transform connectivity between the fast developing housing and employment areas and the vibrant city centre.  This project will transform the look and feel of the Railway station, giving Gloucester a station to be proud of.

    Speaking about the project Richard Graham MP for Gloucester said: “This funding is a great result for a good cause - the improvement of our train station and area around it, something I’ve been working on for the last eight years. GRH staff will be delighted when the infamous underpass is sorted and drivers will appreciate a new car park exit onto Metz Way and less traffic. Overall, it will create a better station, transport hub, cycle and pedestrian routes to the city centre and a better link to our Hospital.

    Thanks to government funding, a strong case by the City Council and our LEP’s support, we will soon have a train station to be much more proud of. Congratulations to all involved. Now to sort the Bristol train services.”

    Cllr Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council said: “Today’s announcement is yet another statement of confidence in Gloucester’s future and the ability of the City Council to deliver significant regeneration schemes. Working with GWR, Network Rail and Gloucestershire County Council, the investment at the Railway Station will not only create a much better environment for passengers but will also provide a safer, more attractive access and improve the connectivity of the city.

    I’d like to thank GFirst LEP for supporting this project and sharing our vision for the future of Gloucester.”

  2. Hartpury College will receive £1million towards a ‘Tech to Plate’ concept. The programme consists of an Agri Tech Centre aimed at using applied technology in livestock production to maximise productivity and quality through the application of precision farming techniques – ‘smart farming techniques’. In effect, using technology to improve productivity whilst also measuring impacts all the way to the consumer’s plate. The ‘Tech to Plate’ concept is very complementary to the Farm 491 project that previously received Growth Deal funding. Russell Marchant, Principal of Hartpury College said: “I am delighted that this project will now take off.  The future of farm productivity will rely increasingly on the application of technology to improve productivity.  This is hopefully just the start of Gloucestershire playing a leading role in Agri Tech innovation at RAU and application here at Hartpury.

  3. Gloucestershire Airport, Staverton - will receive £1.885million to create new access from the B4063. This investment in infrastructure will directly lead to further exciting developments at the airfield for businesses who are keen to capitalize on this great opportunity to be part of the airport. This project will deliver new employment land leading to the creation of 85 new jobs.

    Mark Ryan Managing Director of Gloucestershire Airport said: “Gloucestershire Airport is delighted with the announcement as this supports the GFirst LEP Strategic Economic Plan by maximising the airport’s contribution to the local economy through direct and indirect employment, along with growing an important cluster of aviation related and other economic activity in Gloucestershire.” 

  4. Merrywalks Shopping Centre in Stroud - this project has been awarded £3million, as part of a substantial investment in Stroud Merrywalks Shopping Centre and Carpark.  This will have a transformational effect on Stroud Town Centre. The main aim of this regeneration project is to ensure the continued success of Stroud Town Centre and to encourage residents to shop local. Managing Director of Dransfield Properties, Mark Dransfield, said: “Our company has worked in market towns to deliver successful and sustainable developments for more than 25 years and we are looking forward to having the opportunity to work with GFirst LEP, the local authority and other stakeholders on a major transformation of The Merrywalks Centre in Stroud.  This kind of partnership approach is vital to bringing forward real and sustainable change and we are extremely heartened by the positive response we have received.

    Our plans are at an early stage but we are excited at the prospect of working together in this beautiful market town to create a well linked and attractive centre and bring a new retail offer to the town.”


Editor’s notes:

GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, brings together businesses to make the county successful and create jobs. It is led by the business community in partnership with the education and public sectors to help Gloucestershire realise its economic potential.

The funding is from the Local Growth Fund distributed to Local Enterprise Partnerships via Growth Deals with Government. GFirst LEP has made three successful applications for Growth Deal funding so far, totalling £106.6million. The above four projects were funded as a result of a reallocation process where a number of other projects were now not going ahead.

For more information contact Jessica Gray, Marketing Manager on 01242 715494, or visit

“Local Growth Fund”

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.

Further information

If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact DCLG press office by emailing in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.

Some additional key facts:

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects informed by detailed analysis of the most pressing economic needs in each of their areas, including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.


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