Worcester MP Robin Walker has today praised the Government’s commitment to targeted infrastructure funding following the announcement of £866 million for 133 council-led projects to be spread across the country.
The announcement, made yesterday by the Housing Secretary Sajid Javid MP and the Chancellor Phillip Hammond MP confirmed investment of the first part of the £5 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) that aims to fix the broken housing market by kick-starting development and providing essential infrastructure that holds back the delivery of vital housing projects.
In this round of funding Worcestershire received £2.7 million to facilitate the development of new housing projects in Kidderminster. Housing and infrastructure has been a major focus for the Government throughout this parliament with investment worth £44 billion over the next four years being announced at the budget in November. The funding is designed to accelerate the supply of housing and deliver 300,000 new homes a year to open up the housing market so that more people have the chance to own their own home.
In October Transport Secretary Chris Grayling announced £54.5 million to be granted to Worcestershire County Council to complete the final phase of the upgrade to the Southern Link Road as well as the full dualling of the Carrington Bridge. The announcement was particularly welcome following years of campaigning from Robin & others, and the project remains the biggest investment in transport in County Council’s history.
Days later Worcestershire was handed further good news with a package worth £3.2 million to improve development in the city centre by reducing congestion and improving efficiency at key junction. The project covered the city’s main east-west artery along the A44 corridor to alleviate congestion on some of the city’s most notorious pinch-points.
Off the road and onto rail, Robin has continued to press the Department of Transport and rail providers for shorter journey times across the rail network as well as Great Western Rail to accelerate delivery of a two hour journey time to Worcester from London and ensure that new rolling stock is introduced on the line as soon as is feasible. The Transport Secretary himself visited Worcester a couple of weeks ago where Robin took the opportunity to impress upon him the importance of the Worcestershire’s infrastructure and to thank him for the Government’s commitment to improving transport in the county.
Following yesterday’s announcement, Robin said:
“It is great to see the Government following through on its commitment to invest heavily in key local infrastructure projects that will unlock housing development, encourage construction and ensure that these much-needed homes are built quicker.
“In recent months the Government has provided the largest ever allocation of transport infrastructure funding to Worcestershire in order to move forward with dualling the Southern Link Road with additional funding to alleviate city centre traffic congestion. With future investment on the horizon, it is a really positive sign to see the county receiving further investment to stimulate development.”
“There is a pressing need to build more good quality homes that are good value for money. I have always backed the delivery of affordable housing on brownfield land and shared ownership, help to buy and living above the shop in order to meet demand for housing and increase home ownership.”
“This announcement is only the first round of allocations from the record investment fund to get Britain building again, and with the majority still to come I will continue to lobby colleagues in Government and support bids from the Council to support infrastructure investment in our county.”
Notes to editors
To view the Government announcement please visit:
For Robin’s statement on the record £54.5million Southern Link funding, see:
For a full list of Robin’s contributions in Parliament on the Southern Link, see:
For Robin’s release on city centre congestion, see:
For more of Robin’s statements on housing, see:
For Robin’s latest release on rail, see: