A new relief road opens in East Hampshire on Monday, January 7th as part of a major regeneration project to transform a former garrison town into a prosperous and sustainable new town with more than 3 thousand new homes, 5 and a half thousand new jobs, opportunities for apprenticeships and growing businesses as well as an Enterprise Zone.
The new A325 Relief Road provides a free-flowing alternative to the A325 around the village of Bordon, easing congestion and unlocking the longer-term sustainable regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon.
Enterprise M3 LEP, the major investor in the road project, contributed £17.5 million of the £23 million cost – the single largest investment the LEP has made to date.
Whitehill & Bordon is also home to one of three Enterprise M3 Enterprise Zones, a Future Skills Centre and an Innovation Centre which supports high-potential businesses. The town’s transformation is being developed with a strong focus on sustainable and high environmental standards.
Dave Axam, chair of Enterprise M3 LEP, said: “The regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a significant impact not only on the economic prospects of this area, but also to create a community of entrepreneurs in high tech sectors such as advanced engineering , digital and renewable energy technologies, which will secure prosperity for this town, the region and the UK into the future.”
Mr Axam was opening the road alongside senior Cllr Rob Humby, responsible for Environment & Transport at Hampshire County Council which shared funding for the project.
Cllr Humby said: “The completion of this multi million pound project marks an exciting and important milestone for the regeneration of Whitehill and Bordon and the surrounding areas. Hampshire County Council has drawn on its scale, capacity, experience and expertise to deliver this major new road, which will help Whitehill and Bordon become a vibrant and exciting place to live, following the departure of the military. We are committed to supporting the successful regeneration of town.
“This new road has been delivered on time and within budget to high ecological and environmental standards with lots of local input. I would like to thank all our partners we have worked along side with to deliver this project. The next stage for regeneration for the area will be the delivery of a new campus for Mill Chase Academy.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents who live along the diversion route and to those who travel through this area on a daily basis, for their patience while this vital work was carried out.”
The new relief road starts to the north of Bordon, on the A325 Farnham Road and passes through the MOD area to the west of the town, reconnecting with the A325 to the south. It is part of a package of critical infrastructure required to unlock the development sites and support the wider regeneration.
Significant investment in the area by Enterprise M3 has already seen the development of the BASE Innovation Centre - a new, energetic and inspirational workspace, run by Oxford Innovation – as well as the Whitehill & Bordon Future Skills Centre, a new local hub for technical training. Plans are also underway for a new business park, TechForest, as part of the wider Enterprise M3 Enterprise Zone programme.
The investments are part of the major development of Whitehill & Bordon. After more than 100 years as a ‘garrison town’, the Army left Whitehill and Bordon in December 2015 and moved to a new base at Lyneham in Wiltshire. This freed up over 100 hectares, presenting a unique ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to transform the town from ‘garrison town to green town’.
The complex, £1bn, multi-partner, 15-year collaborative and transformational place-making programme will:
• Deliver 3,350 new homes; including provision of affordable housing
• Create up to 5,500 jobs in total, replacing the approximately 1,500 jobs lost from the Army relocation, plus additional jobs to serve the new development.
• Deliver a new town centre with new schools, new leisure centre, new health facilities & a new public service hub.
• Protect and enhance around 150 hectares of green space at Bordon Inclosure and Hogmoor Inclosure.
• Deliver new community facilities and critically support the community through the transformation process including a predicted population increase from 14,000 to 22,000 by 2030.
Additional information is available on the following Enterprise M3 supported projects:
The £4m Base Bordon Innovation Centre, supported by Homes England and Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, is helping to support existing and new small businesses with over 1,700sqm of new employment space. The innovation centre, which had its one year anniversary in November, has exceeded the first year occupation target of 65 per cent and is continuing to attract exciting new businesses to the former Louisburg Barracks.
The Future Skills Centre, which supports 16-19 year olds into the construction industry by providing industry focused training has previously benefited from £4m of Local Growth Fund funding from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The Centre, developed by Homes England, is now managed by Basingstoke College of Technology and is successfully helping to provide the necessary construction skills to support the development of over 3,000 homes in Whitehill & Bordon, 500 of which are currently in construction at the Louisburg Barracks site.
Further plans are being developed to bring the two hectares of employment land to market as part of the wider Enterprise M3 Enterprise Zone programme, EZ3. The new business park, TechForest, will provide cutting edge, dynamic and agile working space from office and light industrial space to larger serviced plots, from 700 to 1,500sqm, with potential for ready built office space from late 2018.
There is further investment by Enterprise M3 in the development of a package of sustainable transport which will be a network of attractive paths for pedestrians and cyclists to connect to the town’s main facilities with homes and green spaces.