Strategic Economic Plan (SEP)
Securing government funding for economic development in West Berkshire.
West Berkshire Council is part of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVB LEP).
The LEP brings together businesses, unitary authorities, education and the community sector to drive economic growth in the Thames Valley.
Through the LEP, we have been successful in securing funding for infrastructure projects supporting key developments via the Local Growth Fund.
The LEP's plans are set out in an ambitious, multi-year Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).
West Berkshire schemes
West Berkshire has three schemes included in the SEP:
Project 1: Newbury - Kings Road Link Road (KRLR)
The scheme provides for a new direct link between the Hambridge Road industrial area and the A339 in Newbury. It supports the delivery of housing and the decontamination of land on the former Sterling Cables site, and significantly improves access to a key employment area.
A business case for the scheme was prepared and given financial approval by the Berkshire Local Transport Body (BLTB). Delivery of this scheme is progressing in line with the redevelopment of the Sterling Industrial site, with completion expected in early 2024.
Project 3: Newbury - Bond Riverside (formerly London Road Industrial Estate) Junction (A339)
This scheme, completed in March 2017, improves access to Bond Riverside (a regeneration site) via a new junction and associated improvements on the A339 in central Newbury.
The total cost of the project was £3.8 million, with a contribution of £1.9 million from the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP.
A one year evaluation report of this scheme was prepared for consideration by the TVB LEP's consultants, Regeneris and was reported to a meeting of the BLTB in July 2018. You can
Project 5: Newbury - Sandleford Park
The scheme is for two additional accesses to the Sandleford Park strategic housing development (which will deliver up to 2,000 dwellings). The accesses proposed are to the east of the site from the A339 and to the west of the site from the A343/Warren Road.
A business case has been prepared for the scheme and this has been assessed by independent consultants, AECOM, acting on behalf of the TVP LEP. You can request the business case documents by contacting the Transport Policy team.
The east access, including a new signalised junction on the A339, was completed in 2021. A one year evaluation report will be produced for the BLTB in due course.
Further information on the Sandleford Strategic Housing site is available in our Core Strategy.
Local Growth Deal 3
In April 2017, the government announced Growth Deal 3 which included new transport schemes for Thames Valley Berkshire. These were in addition to the schemes included in the Transport Packages of the Strategic Economic Plan featuring the three West Berkshire schemes set out above.
The schemes being delivered with this new funding under Growth Deal 3 (including one in West Berkshire) focus on enhancing connectivity across Berkshire.
Details of the schemes being delivered in West Berkshire are outlined as follows:
Project 24: Newbury - Railway Station Improvements
The scheme is for improvements to Newbury Railway Station and the significant enhancement of interchange opportunities at the station. It has been jointly promoted by West Berkshire Council and Great Western Railway and has delivered:
- the rejuvenation and upgrading of the station buildings and facilities to meet the needs of future rail passengers
- significantly improved interchange opportunities for all those seeking to access the station on foot, by bike, bus, taxi and car
The BLTB granted conditional approval to the scheme in July 2018 and funding was fully confirmed in February 2019 when the conditions had been met. Further developments in the detailed planning phase of this scheme highlighted some amendments necessary for the successful delivery of the scheme, which were covered by addendums to the business case. You can request further details of the business case documents by contacting the Transport Policy team.
This project includes the provision of two cycle hubs on the main station platforms, offering 300 secure cycle parking spaces, a new multi-storey car park on the north side of the station, improved passenger facilities within the station and the development of three business growth units on land on part of the south car park. West Berkshire Council has completed work to improve the interchange environment on Station Road outside the south entrance to the station.
During the preparation of the business case for Theale Station, the TVB LEP released the Berkshire Local Industrial Strategy (BLIS) to build on Berkshire's strengths and assets in delivering local growth. A locally approved version of the BLIS was published in October 2019 and sets out the LEP's priorities for local economic growth across the TVB LEP area for the period 2020 to 2030. The BLIS guides the use of local funding streams, and any further funding coming from central government, on challenges such as infrastructure, digital growth, skills and education, all of which are hugely relevant to our local economy.
The way in which the latest proposals from West Berkshire contribute to the overarching priorities of the BLIS was included in the Newbury Station Addendum Reports (see above) and the Theale Station business case documents (see below).
Project 2.38: Theale Railway Station Upgrade
Additional Local Growth Deal 3 funding became available for investment in schemes identified next on the priority list. One of these schemes was a joint project between West Berkshire Council and Great Western Railway to upgrade the facilities and interchange opportunities at Theale Railway Station.
You can find further details and the business case documents prepared for the Theale Railway Station Upgrade below. This includes a series of enhancements to create a sustainable transport interchange, increase Park and Rail capacity and enhance customer facilities.
The scheme will complement investment made by the wider Great Western electrification project and the delivery by Network Rail of a new footbridge with the lifts via the "Access for All" initiative, due to be completed in 2023. The proposals are key to enabling Theale station to become a modern and attractive interchange that can meet the needs of all future rail passengers.
The Theale Station Upgrade scheme is due to be completed by March 2024.