West Oxfordshire District Council has submitted a bid for £16.7m to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund to build a new underpass under the A40 to link communities, accelerate the introduction of a new science and technology park and boost the economy of Carterton.
The funding will pay for a new A40 roundabout and underpass for the Salt Cross garden village. The roundabout would accelerate the development of a new science and technology park at Salt Cross while the underpass would help improve routes for cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel. It would also provide a direct link for the new Salt Cross community.
Councillor Michele Mead, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We have worked really hard over recent weeks to submit this bid to the Government, which could be a huge boost to the area.
“This funding would help bring forward some really exciting projects that will have long term benefits for communities across West Oxfordshire by providing a stronger local economy, more jobs and a better ability to travel across the district.
“It also plays a big role in our efforts to tackle the climate emergency through encouraging sustainable travel, and the proposed underpass is a great example of this.”
The development of a new science and technology park would be brought forward by the faster construction of a new roundabout on the A40, which is currently scheduled for construction in several years.
The roundabout complements the wider works in Oxfordshire County Council’s A40 Smart Corridor Project – for which they have been awarded almost £100m from the Government’s Housing and Infrastructure Fund to improve journey times along the busy road.
The proposed new underpass under the A40 would help link communities on either side of the dual carriageway near Eynsham and help improve routes for cycling, walking and other forms of sustainable travel. It would also provide a direct link for the new Salt Cross community.
A successful bid would also provide funding into a proposed economic regeneration project in Carterton that would look to bring new jobs and businesses into the area, tapping into the potential of the highly skilled workforce already living there.
Councillor Mead said: “We know that there are a lot of highly skilled people in Carterton and not many jobs to serve them, so this regeneration project would look to address that balance.
“Carterton has huge potential, and if we are successful with the bid, it will help us start a project that would look to invest in the area and kick-start new jobs and businesses coming to Carterton, supporting future generations.
“It is important that we submit bids like this to help bring vital funding into West Oxfordshire, and we will continue to do so where we can to help improve our communities. Now we will have to wait and hope we are successful.”
All councils across the UK were offered the opportunity to bid for the Levelling Up Fund announced earlier this year. West Oxfordshire worked closely with other district councils and Oxfordshire County Council to develop and deliver the bid, which was supported and endorsed by Witney MP, Robert Courts.
Central Government is expected to announce the successful councils this autumn.