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Getting Building Fund

What is the Getting Building Fund?

In June 2020, Local Enterprise Partnerships were invited to put forward projects for the Getting Building Fund. Specifically, Government were looking for shovel-ready capital projects which can be delivered within 18 months.

Nationally, the size of the Getting Building Fund pot totals £900 million.

The overarching objectives of the fund are to drive economic growth, create new jobs and support green recovery. This includes funding to enable:

  • town and city centre modernisation through targeted infrastructure investments unleashing their longer-term economic potential;
  • investment in physical connectivity to improve the functioning of the local economy;
  • investment in innovation ecosystem including through improvements to research and development facilities driving up business productivity;
  • improvements to human capital; and
  • improving digital connectivity, in order to support economic performance, particularly in more isolated areas.

SELEP was successfully allocated £85 million Getting Building Fund which had to be spent by 31st March 2022.​​

However, following the removal of a number of projects from the Getting Building Fund programme, SELEP is currently holding £2.049m which is available for reallocation to alternative capital projects. In the absence of an existing Getting Building Fund project pipeline, a new funding round has been launched to facilitate the reallocation of this funding.

In line with the original expectations of Government, the funding will be used to support shovel ready capital projects which can achieve full Getting Building Fund spend within 12 months of receipt of funding approval. In accordance with the requirements of the SELEP Assurance Framework, it is important that projects can demonstrate a robust need for investment and that the proposed projects offer High value for money.

The Guidance Note provides further information regarding the criteria which has been applied to this funding round and the next steps in the process. It should be noted that the award of the available funding to projects will not be confirmed until January 2024 at the earliest.

The funding will be awarded through a competitive process, which will initially be led by SELEP’s four Federated Boards – the Kent and Medway Economic Partnership, Team East Sussex, Opportunity South Essex and Success Essex. It is recommended that any project proposals are discussed with the relevant Federated Board lead officer at the earliest opportunity.

A number of documents to support project proposals are available to view below:

GBF Guidance Note – July 2023

Appendix A – GBF Business Case – Non transport

Appendix A – GBF Business Case – Transport

Appendix B – GBF pipeline process – Strategic Board report

Appendix C – Long List of GBF projects – June 2020


How were projects prioritised?

The SELEP Strategic Board met on 16 July 2020 to agree the list of 34 projects to proceed through the £85 million Getting Building Fund.

These projects were selected based on their deliverability within the short timescales and their impact in creating jobs and supporting the economic recovery.

How we award funding

Whilst 34 projects have been identified for Getting Building Fund, each project will now be required to develop a detailed business case. The business case will be subjected to independent scrutiny by SELEP’s appointed Independent Technical Evaluator. Funding approval will then be sought from the SELEP Accountability Board, before the funding is available to scheme promoters for spend on the specific intervention.

Getting Building Fund project list

East Sussex: 8 projects, GBF value £11,179,793

To widen and resurface the access track to Charleston, an artists’ house and studio museum of international significance in the heart of the South Downs National Park, home to the renowned Charleston Festival. In 2018 Charleston undertook a £7.5m capital uplift, resulting in a doubling of audience numbers in 2019 and 20% increase in turnover, with a local economic impact of £1.4m. However, the poor condition of the access track is discouraging repeat visitors and is a barrier to growth. By widening the track, this project will also create new dedicated access for cyclists.

Local Authority area: Lewes District
GBF: £89,293
Total project cost: £400,000
Jobs created: 3

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Conversion of a vacant building into a new co-working hub and café. The new hub will include touch down, short occupation and longer term leased office space for the fast growing creative industries in Greater Brighton. Interest has already been received from potential tenants.

Local Authority area: Lewes District
GBF: £250,000
Total project cost: £650,000
Jobs created: 30
Commercial space unlocked: 533sq m

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4,000 sq.m GIA of Class B1/B2 Industrial accommodation designed to be occupied as a whole, or sub-divided into units from 150 up to 1,000 sq.m. Situated in an established industrial location with good transport links. Addresses immediate need for modern manufacturing space due to supply shortage and outdated existing stock. Sustainable growth is at the heart of the build programme and building specification with low and zero carbon technologies and materials to give low maintenance and low energy cost solution.

Local Authority area: East Sussex
GBF: £3.5 million
Total project cost: £4.5 million
Jobs created: 85
Commercial space unlocked: 4,000sq m

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Restore the Winter Garden, a historic Grade 2 listed Victorian pavilion, to its former glory as a cultural destination of regional importance that supports and enhances Eastbourne’s year round visitor economy, establish new higher value markets and generate an additional £1m uplift to the local economy. This is a vital project as part of Eastbourne’s post-Covid economic recovery.

Local Authority area: Eastbourne Borough
GBF: £1.6 million
Total project cost: £3.9 million
Jobs created: 32

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The worlds first MW scale solar farm directly powering the DC railways. Delivered in an innovation collaboration between Green Tech company Riding Sunbeams and Network Rail to develop the route to market for direct rail subsidy free renewable energy directly supplying the UK’s largest energy user. As outlined in the UKs Rail Decarbonisation Strategy Riding Sunbeams solar railways will bring benefits to the regions energy capacity, carbon saving, costs saving and to our local communities through option for community investment.

Local Authority area: East Sussex
GBF: £2,527,500
Jobs created: 40

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Match-funding is needed to refurbish Sussex Innovation Centre (Falmer) to make it a COVID/pandemic secure work environment. This necessary investment will ensure that the space will be adapted to accommodate social distancing, provide technology to aid remote working and virtual meetings that are required to safeguard businesses and jobs in the centre and create new jobs to fill the available space. The impact of the pandemic has reduced occupancy levels of the centre to below 60%, therefore this investment is required to increase the occupancy level back to 95%. This is equivalent to 100 jobs or 18 businesses.

Local Authority area: East Sussex/Lewes District
GBF: £200,000
Total project cost: £300,000
Jobs created: 270

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After 35 years derelict, this iconic and much-loved local landmark will be brought to life with four floors of leisure, retail, offices, studios and community space. Led by a locally-rooted social enterprise developer with a successful track record at Rock House, the project delivers significant workspace and jobs as well as enterprise support and skills development. The grant will also unlock the potential for 15 capped-rent flats and a large public roof terrace. This massive building will be a regeneration catalyst for the whole area and is a key component of the local High Street Heritage Action Zone.

Local Authority area: Hastings
GBF: £1,713,000
Total project cost: £4,274,000
Jobs created: 102
Commercial space unlocked: 2,100sq m
New learners assisted: 180

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Conversion of the former UTC@harbourside building into an education-led skills training centre with commercial workspace for SME’s specialising in the marine sector. The proposals also include new office space for Lewes District Council and partners. Site is one of the most prominent in Newhaven and its regeneration would emphasise the strength of Newhaven’s recovery.

Local Authority area: Lewes District
GBF: £1.3 million
Total project cost: £1.8 million
Jobs created: 133
Commercial space unlocked: 3,095sq m
New learners assisted: 346

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Essex: 10 projects, GBF value £20,559,000

Project will fund broadband infrastructure for very hard to reach business premises, which are currently due for removal from the planned fibre broadband rollout due to high costs, leaving these businesses with no prospect of accessing fast internet within the next two years or longer. These are hard-to-reach business premises in need of faster connectivity as soon as possible in order to support their recovery from the COVID-19 impact. This project complements the other Essex broadband projects on the list (LFFN and rural extension). There is no scope overlap.

Local Authority area: Essex County
GBF: £680,000
Jobs created: 80

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The provision of an Enterprise Centre for local businesses, comprising:

  • An incubation hub for start-ups;
  • An innovation hub for small businesses focusing on innovation and growth;
  • An entrepreneurship hub for businesses aiming to stabilise and consolidate their activities;
  • A flexible conference hall that can be transformed into smaller units;
  • A virtual hub for businesses owned and run by single individuals or couples working from home;
  • Grow-on units for smaller businesses to grow into;
  • Shared facilities such as meeting rooms, training facilities (virtual and physical), a common reception area;
  • Training facilities run by training companies.

Local Authority area: Braintree District
GBF: £7 million
Total project cost: £17.27 million
Jobs created: 200
Commercial space unlocked: 3,100sq m

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Project required to deploy ultrafast broadband for rural premises in Essex, extending the currently ongoing rollout programme. Potential for economic activity in these areas is substantial. Demand for fast broadband services is nearly 15% higher here than the average for Essex. Funding requested would enable fast deployment and maximise the capacity of the existing delivery arrangements by adding as much scope as possible within the existing live rollout contracts. This project complements the other Essex broadband projects on the list (LFFN and acceleration). There is no scope overlap.

Local Authority area: Essex County
GBF: £1.82 million
Jobs created: 300

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Scheme facilitating the redevelopment of Harlow Library and relocation of ACL into the town centre as well as initial feasibility on delivery of up to 33 homes on the current ACL site to regenerate a deprived estate. Harlow Library occupies a prime site in the heart of the town centre – the building is oversized and under occupied, providing a significant opportunity for redevelopment into a modern skills and learning hub for the district. The scheme will see the relocation of ACL from its current sub-optimal site into a refurbished and expanded Harlow Library, creating a modern centre in the heart of the town centre. Through development of new visible facilities and alignment with the courses offered by Harlow College and requirements of businesses it is envisaged that the skills levels of residents can be enhanced through courses offering training and skills required by the expanding and relocating employers to Harlow such as PHE and PAH. The relocation of the ACL site free-up land for Housing, furthering the ongoing estate regeneration programme and accelerating the transformation of Harlow. The library enhancement also supports the TC regeneration aims.

Local Authority area: Essex
GBF: £977,000
Total project cost: £977,000
Jobs created: 16
New learners assisted: 1,800

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Scheme to build a commercial facility and vibrant local market on a gateway site in Jaywick Sands (already in Tendring District Council’s ownership) in response to a known undersupply of commercial space and a high level of credible demand for affordable light industrial, studio and basic office facilities within the area. The proposal is to construct 13 low cost units offering 9,500sq ft lettable area and a covered local market of 20 affordable pitches. This will form part of a programme of wider generation and will deliver an extensive range of positive social impacts to help alleviate the severe deprivations experienced by much of the Jaywick Sands community which is the most deprived in the country – including increased employment opportunities, increased training opportunities, a rise in skills and employability, pride in the area, a rise in aspiration, especially amongst younger people and significantly improved health benefits through affordable access to fresh foods. It is highly deliverable and quick to implement.

Local Authority area: Essex
GBF: £1,972,000
Total project cost: £2,067,000
Jobs created: 49
Commercial space unlocked: 840sq m

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Modus is a development of five research, manufacturing and light industrials units specifically designed to support the life sciences supportive supply chain and production sectors.

The units will allow for a vertical supply chain existence within the Harlow Science park and allow for cross working opportunities between industry participants.

Modus also allows for tenants from a broad range of skills and engineering areas which provide exceptional variety of job types within Harlow.

Local Authority area: Harlow District
GBF: £1.96 million
Total project cost: £6.96 million
Jobs created: 217
Commercial space unlocked: 4,645sq m

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Nexus is a new high grade office building as part of the Harlow Science and Innovation Park that will provide tenanted space on the two upper floors bringing valuable employment to the town within the life science and wider supportive sectors. The ground floor will be a co-working environment to provide incubation for new businesses and flexible space for established businesses reacting to the changes presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The building has recently passed practical completion and funding is now required for secondary fit-out for tenants and to produce the co-working environment.

Local Authority area: Harlow District
GBF: £1.6 million
Total project cost: £9.1 million
Jobs created: 296
Commercial space unlocked: 2,800sq m

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Remodelling of two ageing buildings within the College’s estate to support new ‘T’-Levels in Construction, Digital, Education & Childcare and Health & Science. GBF funding will extend the scope of the remodelling to provide additional workshop spaces, higher quality teaching areas, and a sustainable energy centre, supporting significant job creation in key sectors for Harlow and the surrounding areas.

Local Authority area: Essex
GBF: £1.5 million
Total project cost: £3.5 million
Jobs created: 1,095
Learners assisted: 1,148

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To deliver a bespoke bike scheme and cycle network infrastructure within Jaywick Sands and Clacton aimed at tackling inequality within one of the most deprived communities in Essex. The bike scheme would be a community-based project to help overcome the barriers to sustainable travel as a result of inequalities, help tackle rising unemployment and to align with the government agenda of active travel and physical activity post COVID-19. Lack of transport options is recognized as a factor in joblessness and insufficient transport provision is a reason for declining employment and access to skills suggesting that wider availability of cycling for transport has the potential to reduce transport inequality and promote access to jobs and education. The scheme directly links to the wider Clacton Town Centre FHSF and sustainable infrastructure proposed as a result of this programme.

Local Authority area: Essex
GBF: £2.3 million
Total project cost: £2.4 million

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An investment of £3.35m to remove traffic from Tindal Square, creating a high-quality public space complimenting investment in Shire Hall, a Grade II listed building. It will connect the northern end of the pedestrianised High Street with the Bond Street development in the City Centre. The project will support post COVID-19 city centre modernisation sustaining the economic performance of one of the region’s primary retail destinations. Public realm investment can have a multiplier effect of x3 for every £1 invested in terms of spend elsewhere in the local economy. The project will have an economic impact of close to £10m.

Local Authority area: Chelmsford City
GBF: £750,000
Total project cost: £3.35 million
Jobs created: 150

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Kent and Medway: 8 projects, GBF value £37,009,342

This project will create an innovative adult learning and skills hub through repurposing an unused Council owned asset; Britton Farm Mall. It will focus on supporting adults to retrain, upskill and access employment opportunities. Cutting edge digital facilities will tackle digital exclusion, and enable the hub to provide learners with the skills needed to access the high GVA jobs being created across Medway. The education hub along with residential units, will be located in the heart of the town centre, to improve the local economy by increasing footfall to the High Street and acting as a catalyst to regenerate Gillingham. The scheme already has planning and is shovel-ready.

Local Authority area: Medway
GBF: £1.99 million
Total project cost: £7.19 million
Jobs created: 263
Homes unlocked/delivered: 44
New learners assisted: 1,050

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This project will expand the successful Kent-Top Up Broadband Voucher Scheme by:

  • Introducing a new, higher-value ‘F1’ top-up voucher to connect the hardest-to-reach rural ‘final 1%’ premises.
  • Expanding the scheme to include rural properties in Medway.
  • Extending the scheme so that businesses as well as residential properties are eligible for a top-up voucher.

Demand for the existing voucher scheme (which works in partnership with DCMS’s Rural Gigabit Voucher) is strong. Extending the scheme will safeguard jobs, accelerate the deployment of gigabit-capable broadband connections and boost Kent and Medway’s recovery. The scheme is shovel ready and does not require planning.

Local Authority area: Kent County/Medway
GBF: £2,290,152
Total project cost: £2,406,409

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The Discovery Park Incubator project will deliver flexible, collaborative workspace in which life science start-ups and SME’s can establish their operations and grow as part of an innovative community.

The project involves the refurbishment of two floors within the East Block of Building 500 at Discovery Park, to provide around 30,000 sq ft of net lettable incubator space. The new facility will include self-contained laboratory units, informal breakout and café space and shared lab support facilities.

Local Authority area: Dover District
GBF: £2.5 million
Total project cost: £5.5 million
Jobs created: 75

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Project delivers 1,257sq m of accredited education space and 4,382sq m of light industrial for commercial purposes. Commercial space acts as an enabling development to fund the education space and supports growth of SMEs.

Local Authority area: Ashford Borough
GBF: £578,724
Total project cost: £11,083,120
Jobs created: 256
Commercial space unlocked: 4,382sq m
New learners assisted:​ 48

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A project to provide outstanding, industry leading training facilities for Performance and Production Arts in the heart of the Thames Gateway. The project will replace poor quality accommodation that is currently a disservice to the outstanding teaching and learning provided by the College’s team of industry trained professional lecturing staff. The College is one of the most respected providers of Arts further education nationally and has been constantly praised by inspectors over the past three decades. With the Thames Gateway Production Corridor a regional priority, this project provides an outstanding opportunity for students to secure highly successful Performance and Production Arts careers. The scheme already has planning and is shovel-ready.

Local Authority area: Dartford Borough
GBF: £12,301,796
Total project cost: £14,025,000
Jobs created: 124
New learners assisted: 650

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The Romney Marsh Employment Hub will create 700 jobs to mitigate the 1,000 expected job loss from the closure of the Dungeness nuclear power stations upon which this rural location is heavily dependent.

Supported by the NDA, Stage 1 will provide a business centre for 20 businesses (creating 220 jobs) with construction commencing Autumn 2020. Stage 2 requires Getting Building Fund support for the infrastructure to service and bring forward the remaining 5 hectares of employment land (480 jobs). The scheme is shovel ready: Stage 2 can be delivered quickly as detailed planning consent is in place and the Council owns the land.

Local Authority area: Folkestone and Hythe District
GBF: £3,536,466
Total project cost: £7,081,466
Jobs created: 335
Commercial space unlocked: 751sq m

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A new railway station near Cliffsend in Thanet, East Kent, consisting of two 12-car platforms to accommodate High Speed services. Accessed by stairs and lifts via a refurbished Victorian underpass, also bringing public realm improvements to an existing public right of way. The station will be accessible by a new footway/cycleway and direct access from the A299. It will open up employment opportunities, create up to 800 new jobs, accelerate the delivery of 3,200 homes, and lessen the perceived peripherality of East Kent, bringing inward investment due to the attractive High Speed journey time to London St Pancras. It supports job creation at the neighbouring UK Life Science Opportunity Zone & Enterprise Park.

Local Authority area: Dover/Thanet District
GBF: £11,999,000
Total project cost: £34.51 million
Jobs created: 432
Homes unlocked/delivered: 212

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Creation of a modern business workhub and 17 new residential dwellings in Swanley Town Centre. The scheme will act as a town centre regeneration catalyst and set the tone for future development. This co-working space with business support will stimulate entrepreneurship in this economically deprived area. The scheme will restore an active high street frontage and improve footfall in the town. It is an exemplar scheme, built to a high standard with a strong environmental and sustainability ethos. By demonstrating positive investment in the area and offering improved facilities for living and working locally, it is intended to raise local community aspirations. The scheme already has planning and is shovel-ready.

Local Authority area: Sevenoaks District
GBF: £1.49 million
Jobs created: 183
Homes unlocked: 34
Commercial space unlocked: 250sq m

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Unallocated GBF funding has been identified due to a reduced GBF funding ask for the New Performance and Production Digital Arts Facility, North Kent College project. The GBF ask has reduced from £12.625m to £12.302m GBF, making £323,204 available for alternative investment. It is expected that the Kent and Medway Federated Board will bring forward an additional project proposal, to be considered by the Strategic Board for the allocation of £323,204

South Essex (Southend, Thurrock and pan South Essex): 7 projects, GBF value £16,251,865

Better Queensway is an estate and town centre renewal project. The redevelopment will boost local cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, deliver at least 1,669 new homes, 7,000 sq m of new flexible commercial space and enhanced public realm. Sustainable urban drainage will help alleviate flood risk on Southend seafront. Funding sought is for a capital sum to upgrade local electrical networks to provide capacity to meet new government guidelines on energy use in new homes and to enable sufficient resilience in the local grid to provide the required level of electrical vehicle charging to future proof the town centre.

Local Authority area: Southend on Sea
GBF: £4.2 million
Total project cost: £21.9 million
Jobs created: 70
Homes unlocked/delivered: 1,779
Commercial space unlocked: 
445sq m​

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Modernisation of main seafront car park with porous ecoblocks will reduce localised flooding and improve the public realm. Changes to access/egress will improve safety, marked bays will increase car parking capacity. Provision of disabled bays and electric charging points will futureproof the car park and align to the green recovery objective. This improved and modernised seafront infrastructure given its proximity to the beach and to local seasonal businesses as well as the town centre will improve the attractiveness of the seafront and visitor experience, increase parking capacity and be beneficial to the local economy in the longer term.

Local Authority area: Castle Point
GBF: £700,000
Total project cost: £740,000

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The existing LFFN project is rolling out gigabit capable infrastructure across the region providing Full fibre services into public sites and rural communities that may not be commercially viable. This accelerates ultra fast broadband infrastructure delivery, providing a basis for the private sector to extend social and economic benefits to remote communities and businesses. This funding extends the reach of Full Fibre to 130 additional sites. This includes sites beyond the LFFN project such as non local authority sites such as GP Surgeries or sites deemed partially commercial, such as; Care Homes/Social Care Facilities, or available funding would not allow.

Local Authority area: South Essex
GBF: £2.5 million
Jobs created: 2,000

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The building had been vacant since the college relocated in 2013. A development of 14 new private homes which acts as a facilitating first phase, providing site infrastructure for phase 2 – 60 independent living (Extra Care) apartments for older people. Providing jobs in the construction sector alongside jobs in the care sector through the independent living provision to meet the growing demands of Essex’s ageing population. The scheme also protects and improves community facilities on the wider site with new changing and parking facilities being provided for ongoing use of the sites green space by local sports clubs.

Local Authority area: Essex
GBF: £713,000
Total project cost: £6 million​
Jobs created: 264
Homes unlocked/delivered: 74

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NUE would return long-term empty commercial properties back into use, for residential, alternative commercial or mixed-use purposes. The project will focus on secondary retail and other commercial premises which have been significantly impacted by the recent COVID lockdown, changing consumer demand or which may have been impacted by larger regeneration schemes. This would be achieved this by providing short-term secured loans (up to 3 years) to bring long-term empty commercial properties back into use. The project has worked successfully elsewhere in SELEP. Repayments would be ‘re-loaned’ realising additional benefits post 2022.

Local Authority area: Southend on Sea/Thurrock/Rochford/Castle Point
GBF: £1.2 million
Total project cost: £2.65 million
Jobs created: 18
Homes unlocked/delivered: 28
Commercial space unlocked:
706sq m

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This proposal is to seek funding for a modular housing factory in Basildon. The new facility is immediately adjacent to Swan’s current factory, established in 2017, providing 70 jobs and producing c450 homes p.a. The new facility will deliver up to an additional 1,000 homes per year. The factories will provide homes across Swan’s programme and for third parties including Queensway (Southend), Purfleet (Thurrock) and Blackwall Reach (Tower Hamlets) – in total a pipeline of some 8,000 new homes. The combined capacity of 1,450 homes p.a. could be doubled if second shifts were to be introduced.

Local Authority area: Basildon
GBF: £4.53 million
Jobs created: 248
Homes unlocked/delivered: 3,500
New learners assisted: 144
Commercial space unlocked: 116,841sq m

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The project is to develop a state of the art Transport and Logistics Institute through the conversion of part of South Essex College’s Thurrock Campus. The new facility will provide a focus for logistics training in Thurrock which will enable over 100 students per year to achieve training and future employment in this key local, regional and national sector. With courses from level 2 to level 5 for young people and adults wishing to retrain alongside upskilling existing staff in the increased use of automation in the logistics sector. This project will meet the identified skills needs in the area.

Local Authority area: Thurrock
GBF: £600,000
Total project cost: £1 million
Jobs created: 10
New learners assisted: 1,011

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Since the list of projects to be included in the GBF programme was agreed by the Strategic Board in July, issues have been identified for the Grays Shopping Centre project as the site is currently up for sale. It is expected that an alternative project proposal will be brought forward by Opportunity South Essex Federated Board for consideration by the Strategic Board at its meeting on 11th December 2020.