The Chancellor’s announcement at the Conservative Party Conference of an £18 million cash injection for the A614 is excellent news that will improve Nottinghamshire’s road network and boost its economy, writes Coun Kay Cutts, Nottinghamshire County Council leader.
The county council worked hard with colleagues in Midlands Connect, together with invaluable support from local MPs Ben Bradley and Mark Spencer, to press the Government for this major new investment.
Nottinghamshire is the only county in the midlands to secure this type of funding, which shows what can be achieved when organisations and people work in partnership for the benefit of the county’s residents.
The £18 million road improvements, between Ollerton and Lowdham, will open up many opportunities, bringing new jobs, housing and infrastructure to support local communities and businesses.
The A614 corridor is the spine of the county and this investment will help the council to unlock the true economic potential of north Nottinghamshire.
Six junctions will be improved, namely the A614/A616/A6075 Ollerton roundabout, the A614/Eakring Road, the A614/Mickledale Lane, the A614 White Post roundabout, the A614/A6097 Warren Hill, and the A612/A6097 Lowdham roundabout.
This work will increase the capacity of the A614 and its connecting roads, which is essential to meet demand as more people move into the area to live and work.
New housing developments are planned in Bilsthorpe, Ollerton and Blidworth.
And 800 new homes and a 25 acre-business park are in the pipeline for the former Thoresby colliery site.
The upgrades will also give better access to important tourism attractions such as the council-owned Rufford Abbey.
It will also help Sherwood Forest Country Park capitalise on the potential of its new £5 million visitor centre, which opened this summer.
At the Conservative Party Conference, the Chancellor also announced that a new development body would be created to work in partnership with the council to deliver new jobs, homes, infrastructure and growth linked to the HS2 high speed rail station at Toton, which is due to open in 2033.
Fifteen years sounds like a long time to wait, but in terms of planning schemes of this scale, it is the blink of an eye.
Work is already underway to ensure Nottinghamshire and the wider region can exploit the full economic benefit that HS2 can provide to the area.
This is all good news and it represents a big vote of confidence from the Government in Nottinghamshire , both in its county council and, most importantly, its residents.
Funding from national level is always hard to win, because every other part of the country is staking its own claim.
But ministers clearly share my belief that this county has a very bright future, and they are willing to invest in that potential.