West Berkshire Council

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're able to bid for 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 has three schemes included in the SEP:

Project 1: Newbury - Kings Road Link Road (KRLR)

The scheme proposes a new direct link between the Hambridge Road industrial area and the A339 in Newbury. It supports the delivery of housing and the cleaning up of contaminated land on the former Sterling Cables site, and significantly improves access to a key employment area.

A business case has been prepared for the scheme.  This has been assessed by independent consultants, White Young Green (WYG), acting on behalf of the Berkshire Local Transport Body (BLTB). The BLTB have given financial approval for this scheme.  

Project 3: Newbury - London Road Industrial Estate (LRIE) Junction (A339)

This scheme improves access to London Road Industrial Estate, a regeneration site, via a new junction and associated improvements on the A339 in central Newbury.

A business case has been prepared for the scheme and this has been assessed by independent consultants, White Young Green, acting on behalf of the BLTB. The BLTB have given financial approval for this scheme.

A one year evaluation report of this scheme has been prepared for consideration by the TVB LEP's consultants, Regeneris. This will be reported to the BLTB at their meeting on 19 July 2018. The evaluation report can be read pdf icon online [1Mb].

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. The BLTB have given financial approval for this scheme.

Further information supporting each of these projects is available through 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 to be delivered with this new tranche of funding under Growth Deal 3 (including one in West Berkshire) focus on enhancing connectivity across Berkshire; the prioritisation of these schemes was derived from a thorough and deliberate forward planning process, lasting over a year.

A key theme in the Growth Deal proposal was the importance of fast, reliable and comfortable intra-urban connectivity, particularly to connect peripheral employment and housing areas to the town centres and main public transport nodes. Without such connectivity, Berkshire's towns will not continue to attract and retain people to live and work within them, and the economic potential of the area will not be realised.

The current details relating to this project are set out under Project 24 below.

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 is jointly promoted by West Berkshire Council and Great Western Railway and seeks to deliver: (i) the rejuvenation and upgrading of the station buildings and facilities to meet the needs of future rail passengers especially with the forecast growth in numbers of passengers in mind, and (ii) significantly improved interchange opportunities for all those seeking to access the station on foot, by bike, by bus, by taxi and by 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 have highlighted some amendments necessary for the successful delivery of the scheme. This has triggered the need for some addendums to be put before the BLTB for their consideration.

These addendums (1 and 2) and the original business case documents can be found below:

Following some funding (allocated under Local Growth Deal 3) not being able to be spent on planned schemes, money became available to be invested in the schemes identified next on the priority list. One of these schemes was in West Berkshire and proposes significant work at Theale to upgrade the facilities and interchange opportunities at Theale Railway Station.  Further details and the business case documents prepared for this scheme can be found below under Project 2.38 which is the TVB LEP's reference for the scheme.

Alongside the preparation of the business case for Theale Station, the TVB LEP was developing its Local Industrial Strategy. The Berkshire Local Industrial Strategy (BLIS) builds on Berkshire's strengths and assets to deliver 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.  It will guide 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 is 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

The documents below form the business case for the Theale Railway Station Upgrade Scheme.  This includes a series of enhancements to improve sustainable transport interchange, increase Park and Rail capacity and enhance customer facilities to help accommodate the forecast growth in rail travel.

The project is being jointly promoted by West Berkshire Council as local transport authority and Great Western Railway Limited as the train operating company operating services under the Great Western franchise.

The scheme will complement investment made by the wider Great Western electrification project and the proposed delivery by Network Rail of a new footbridge with the lifts via the "Access for All" initiative. The proposals are key to enabling Theale station to become a modern and attractive interchange that is able to meet the needs of all future rail passengers.

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