Chloe Smith, Member of Parliament for Norwich North, has welcomed news that Norwich has been shortlisted to receive a share of £840 million, following her direct campaign to central government.
Chloe was part of the original bid, wrote about the bid in her recent regular Norwich Evening News article, and has lobbied the Transport Secretary directly for it.
Today, the Prime Minister has announced that 10 UK cities have been shortlisted to potentially receive a share of £840 million of funding from central government. Norwich has been named as one of the 10 cities on the list, news that Chloe welcomes following her campaigning. The shortlist of ten city regions marks the next stage of the £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund which, under the modern Industrial Strategy, is supporting cities to make it easier, safer and quicker for people to travel and get to work by funding improved transport connections.
Local authorities in Derby & Nottingham, Leicester City, the North East, Norwich, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southampton, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent and West Yorkshire will bid for a share of the funding. These ten shortlisted city regions will each receive an initial £50,000 as well as bespoke support from government to co-develop the strongest cases for investment.
The Transforming Cities Fund is already delivering major improvements for people across England. Six Mayoral Combined Authorities have already received a share of £840 million to deliver schemes.
Chloe comments: “This extra funding will help make Norwich’s transport better.
“It would make a lot of difference to thousands of people who want to reach jobs or new homes in our city, so I’m pleased the Department for Transport have said yes to making our bus links better. Over 300,000 people are thought to be in our city during the working day and it would be great to better connect the city centre with the suburbs to let people get to Norwich's opportunities. For example, there's no bus route at the moment to the major new homes being built to the north east of Norwich. There's no bus route between the airport and the train station. People living on some of the estates I represent in north Norwich find it hard to get to work or college by public transport if they don't have a car.
“This is why I teamed up with the city council, county council and surrounding councils to apply to the Department for Transport for special funds to transform our city. In north Norwich, the plan would help people in Mile Cross, Catton Grove, the north city, Sprowston and Heartsease. People could more easily get to the hospital, the university, the great new aviation academy, the airport, and many jobs in the business and industrial parks.
“I have already campaigned successfully for better transport for our city - like getting the new trains from next year - and the bid from Norwich has my full backing and I will do everything within my powers as an MP to help ensure greater Norwich’s bid is successful. This extra funding could radically improve the ways in which people, goods and services move around Norwich so I will continue my work in Parliament to campaign for improvements to transport links ensuring Norwich has a first rate transport network.”