Enterprise body to pick transport winners

AN EXTENSION to the popular Monsal Trail cycle route and a £4.5m improvement to a major Chesterfield roundabout are just two of the schemes set to bid for a share of a multi-million pound Government fund.

Derbyshire County Council will next week submit six schemes to the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, known as D2N2, which is expected to handle a £46.8m budget for projects to be carried out between 2015 and 2019.

To be eligible for funding, projects must cost more than £2m and have “strong economic benefits”. The projects will be in competition with both each other and schemes from other areas.

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Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport, Councillor Joan Dixon, said: “Good transport links are essential to building a strong economy.

“That’s why we’re working hard to put Derbyshire in the best possible position to bring more jobs, business and industry to areas of the county most in need.”

The six projects include building a £6m link road between the A61 in Chesterfield and a proposed development on the former Avenue Coking Plant; updating Gamesley railway station at a cost of £5m; creating a £7m link road for the Markham Vale enterprise zone; building a new £6m road linking Woodville and Swadlincote and improving the heavily-congested Whittington Moor roundabout, on the A61 north of Chesterfield, at a cost of £4.5m.

Plans have also been mooted to create the White Peak Loop cycle network, which would see the popular Monsal Trail extended north to Buxton and south to Matlock and Cromford, linking a network of existing trails.

The D2N2 board will discuss the projects at a meeting in July, with a final list of schemes approved for funding due to be announced by the end of July.