Back our bid for growth, Ministers are urged

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UPGRADES to roads, rail electrification and new buildings are among dozens of schemes in North and East Yorkshire which could be set to benefit from a £125m boost for the region next year.

Two local enterprise partnerships have put in separate bids to the Government’s Local Growth Fund for 75 projects in 2015/2016. The investment sought from the Government totals nearly £500m by 2021.

York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding Enterprise Partnership are seeking £12m towards the £13.4m upgrade of the A1079 between Hull and York, as well as £8.3m towards the National AgriFood Innovation Campus at Sand Hutton, £11m towards the £49m BioHub at the University of York’s Heslington East campus and £15m for a small business grants programme.

The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, meanwhile, is seeking £5m towards the project to electrify the railway track between Hull and Selby, £4m towards a £5m “landmark” bridge across Castle Street, by Hull Marina and £3.5m towards a £30m gallery and exhibition centre in Hull’s Fruit Market arts quarter.

Another £3m is being sought to raise a weak point in the River Humber defences at Albert Dock and £13.3m for flood protection for Lincolnshire Lakes, a project which could eventually see 6,000 homes built on land west of Scunthorpe.

Competition is fierce as the LEPs are among 36 others vying for a share of the £2bn a year the Government is offering through the fund.

Lord Haskins, chair of the Humber LEP, said: “With the progress we have all made together over the last few years, we are changing the perceptions of the Humber to a place that can deliver, can attract major investment and can be trusted to take decisions for itself. We are asking for Government to back us, as it has done so far, and where necessary invest resources alongside us to help us get things moving.”