A controversial road layout project in the centre of Brighton has been granted £6 million, with a view to most of the work being carried out next year.
The money will go towards the £8 million cost of phase 3 of the Valley Gardens scheme to fund changes in the Old Steine area, including at the Aquarium roundabout in front of the Palace Pier.
A Brighton and Hove City Council committee is due to meet next week when the latest version of the project is expected to be agreed.
Work is already under on phases 1 and 2 of the Valley Gardens project – from St Peter’s Church to the Old Steine.
The council said this morning (Thursday 24 January): “The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has awarded £6 million for phase 3 of the Valley Gardens scheme, following a successful bid by the council.
“The council submitted a business case to the LEP in December 2018 following approval by the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.
“The business case set out the significant economic benefits to be gained from the proposed redesign of the Old Steine to Palace Pier area resulting from reductions in the number of collisions and casualties, an increase in public space, walking and cycling benefits and increased land values.
“The estimated cost of the project overall is £7.84 million, the majority of which will be funded by the LEP’s £6 million allocation.
“The LEP requires the local authority to contribute funding for the project of at least 15 per cent of the project cost.
“This means that the remainder of the funding for the project, currently estimated at £1.84 million, will come from the council’s Local Transport Plan budget, local contributions and potentially private sector development contributions.
“The decision to award the funding was made at a meeting on Tuesday (22 January) of the Coast to Capital board, which has the final say on funding for the region’s projects.
“The allocated £6 million will come from the Local Growth Fund, which is money from central government awarded to local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) for projects that benefit the local area and economy.
“The council will sign a formal funding agreement with the LEP, with the aim of delivering the phase 3 scheme in 2020.
“In accordance with the terms set out in the agreement, the £6 million funding from the LEP must be drawn down completely by March 2021.”
Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “We are very pleased to have been successful in our bid for funding for the Valley Gardens Phase 3 scheme.
“Securing funding from the local enterprise partnership marks a critical point in the project’s programme.
“Approval at committee on (Thursday) 7 February will allow officers to proceed to the detailed design stage and work towards delivering the scheme by 2021, in accordance with the funding agreement.”
Coast to Capital chief executive Jonathan Sharrock said: “The Coast to Capital board were delighted to discuss the Brighton Valley Gardens phase 3 project at its meeting on Tuesday 22 January, and to confirm Local Growth Funding of £6 million.
“We are committed to supporting a successful scheme with long-term benefit to the city and will discuss the terms of our grant with the council.”
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