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Project: Strategic Transport Forum

Summary: By facilitating the development of a first rate, sustainable and integrated transport system we can better realise our sub-region’s full economic potential through:

  • unlocking housing development
  • enhancing urban connectivity
  • encouraging vibrant town centres
  • positioning TVB for a digital future
  • and enhancing the strategic transport network

Delivery Partners: Six Berkshire Local Authorities, Network Rail, Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, Highways England, Heathrow Airport and DfT.

LEP investment of Local Growth Funds (LGF) by year: Growth Deals 1, 2 and 3 have a combined investment budget of £134,028,160, matched with £98,085,555 from other sources, funding 34 separate schemes. £9,684,176 was transferred to delivery partners in 2018/19.

Total cost of schemes: £227,878,074.

Status: Nine schemes have been completed thus far. 13 schemes were on site during 2018/19.

Scheme benefits: The 34 transport infrastructure schemes will unlock 6,535 houses/homes/dwellings, to deliver economic growth and employment in the area.

Project: Major Infrastructure Works Co-ordination/Transforming Connectivity

Summary: The Growth Deal commits the government and the LEP to close co-operation and partnership working, specifically with Network Rail and Highways England. It is acknowledged that there is a need to mitigate the impacts on businesses and commuters and use a unified communications message of ‘Transforming Connectivity in the Thames Valley’.

Delivery Partner: Department for Transport (DfT), Network Rail, HS2, GWR, SWR, Highways England, Heathrow Airport, Crossrail, Bucks County Council, Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP and Thames Valley Berkshire LEP.

LEP investment of Local Growth Funds (LGF) by year: Not applicable.

Total cost of scheme: Not applicable.

Status: Quarterly meetings at DfT offices.

Scheme benefits: To work together to co-ordinate programmes, assess the risks, and manage the disruption generated by the huge investment into infrastructure across Berkshire and adjacent areas in the coming years. An MOU has been signed by all participating parties.

Project: Transport for the South East

Summary: The six Berkshire Local Authorities have used the existing joint committee, Berkshire Local Transport Body, to participate in the Shadow Sub National Transport Body, Transport for the South East (TfSE).

Delivery Partner: 16 transport authorities and 5 LEPs; supported by the DfT.

LEP investment of Local Growth Funds (LGF) by year: Not applicable.

Total cost of scheme: Not applicable.

Status: The Secretary of State has written to all shadow Sub National Transport Bodies informing them that he is not minded to grant statutory status to any STBs for the foreseeable future. The government's preference is to continue with the partnership working already has in place. The DfT will continue to take account of TfSE's views in developing national transport policy and investment decisions, regardless of any formal status.

Scheme benefits: A formal governance arrangement for co-ordinating the transport concerns of five LEPs and 16 transport authorities across the South East.

Project: Superfast Berkshire

Summary: Superfast Berkshire is a collaboration between the six Berkshire unitary authorities and Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to bring high speed broadband solutions to residents and businesses, which are considered commercially unviable by telecoms companies. The scheme is part of the government’s national scheme (managed by Building Digital UK) to expand high speed broadband.

Delivery Partner: West Berkshire Council.

LEP investment of Local Growth Funds (LGF) by year: £64,500 deferred to 2019/20 pending delivery. 

Additionally, through Growing Places Fund - Capital loan: 2012/13: £1,480,000 (fully repaid), 2017/18: £1,800,000. Revenue investment in project management so far: £196,068.

Total cost of scheme: £23,657,000.

Status: Ongoing.

Scheme benefits: £154 million GVA return and an additional 2,300 jobs for Berkshire (if the current gaps in provision are upgraded with superfast infrastructure). To rollout broadband coverage to 37,500 properties, including 2,000 businesses bringing Berkshire to 96.3% as of January 2019. The aim is to have 98.89% superfast broadband coverage.

Superfast coverage






Sept 2015

Dec 2016

Dec 2017

Dec 2019

Bracknell Forest




















West Berkshire










Berkshire Total





Project: Heathrow Strategic Planning Group

Summary: The LEP has supported the development of Heathrow Strategic Planning Group (HSPG) in response to Heathrow Airport’s expansion proposals. This is a ‘duty-to-cooperate’ coalition of nine planning authorities and three LEPs, responding to the Airports National Policy Statement and preparing for the Development Consent Order that will set the conditions for any expansion approval.

Delivery Partner: Nine planning authorities and three LEPs though the HSPG ‘core team’.

LEP investment of Local Growth Funds (LGF) by year: Not applicable.

Total cost of scheme: Not applicable.

Status: The LEP Chair sits on the HSPG Leaders Group and LEP officers are members of the Senior Officers Group, plus several HSPG sub-groups – including Transport, Economic Development and Skills.

Scheme benefits: A formal governance arrangement for co-ordinating local planning authority concerns and responses to Heathrow Airport’s expansion plans.

Project: Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH)

Summary: The proposed rail connection would speed up journeys to Britain’s busiest international airport by allowing passengers to travel to the airport from the Thames Valley, South Coast, South West and South Wales without going into London Paddington. It would enable a six-minute journey from Slough and a 26-minute journey from Reading to Heathrow Airport, four times per hour.

Delivery Partner: Network Rail.

LEP investment of Local Growth Funds (LGF) by year: Leadership and management of the WRLtH Stakeholder Steering Group, co-chaired by two Berkshire MPs. Advocacy for the scheme, in partnership with the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Total cost of scheme: est. £1billion.

Status: Network Rail submitted the scheme to DfT’s Board Investment & Commercial Committee, and is working towards the submission of an application for a Development Consent Order in autumn 2019.

Scheme benefits: Creating 42,000 new jobs, one million fewer car journeys as passengers transfer from road to rail, 5,200 fewer tonnes of CO2, £800 million of additional economic activity and £1.5 billion of business efficiency savings.

Project: Thames Valley Berkshire Smart City Cluster

Summary: The project will deliver a smart city platform across Reading, Bracknell, Wokingham and West Berkshire benefiting residents and employees, and encouraging economic development. A communications platform will provide a low powered wide area (LORA) network, the platform for the Internet of Things, and open huge opportunities for the low-cost deployment of smart devices for business, developers and local authorities to use.

Delivery Partner: Reading Borough Council with project management from Peter Brett Associates (Now part of Stantec).

LEP investment of Local Growth Funds (LGF) by year: 2018/19: £254,737.

Total cost of scheme: £9,952,654.

Status: Four local authority Challenge Funds development workshops were held in order to define the specific challenge projects for each of four local authority areas, i.e. Bracknell, West Berkshire, Reading and Wokingham.

Scheme benefits: The scheme should attract funding for research, business investment and start-ups in delivering smart products; deliver an assisted living element, which will directly improve the lives of those with mobility challenges; and improve infrastructure network management services by smoothing vehicle flow, improving fuel economy and reducing emissions and air quality risk.