A vital step has been made in the funding of the £15 million Eastern Relief Road in Bury St Edmunds which council bosses say will result in the creation of up to 15,000 jobs for the town.
St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) are awaiting the result of a £6 million Government bid to build the road, which would allow the expansion of the Suffolk Business Park and bring an estimated £275 million in investment to the area.
They hope the new facilities on to 68 hectares of land will attract new industry to the town including head offices for national companies.
Cllr John Griffiths, leader of the council and board member of New Anglia LEP, said: “We know that firms are already looking at this site as part of their future expansion plans.
“If successful, this bid will help all our efforts to free the land for economic growth and secure the future prosperity of our residents and businesses.”
The New Anglia LEP has already pledged £4 million and the council says it is confident it will secure the remaining £5 million if the Government bid is successful.
The relief road, which will connect Skyliner Way in Moreton Hall to junction 45 of the A14, is also needed to pave the way for the construction of 500 new homes, a secondary school, retail centre and community football project as outlined in the council’s blueprint for growth, Vision 2031.
A council spokesman said the road could be built within the next three years and part of it would have to be ready to serve the new school, which is due to open in 2016. They aim to award contracts to build the road by May and construction could start about four months afterwards.
He added that house builder Taylor Wimpey would contribute section 106 funding, which developers give for associated community projects linked to developments, that could either be spent on the road or other infrastructure improvements.
Bosses at New Anglia LEP met council bosses, local businesses and West Suffolk College yesterday.
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said: “Having the right infrastructure and skills in place is key to keeping this a great place to live and work, and our visit underlines our determination to make the compelling case for more investment in projects like the Eastern Relief Road.”