Rebecca Pow MP welcomes £5.9million Government funding to level up Taunton Deane

  • Government has announced more than 300 ‘shovel-ready’ projects in England to share £900 million investment to build homes and infrastructure and create jobs.
  • Taunton Deane to benefit with £5.9 million investment, as part of the Government’s plans to level up the whole country.


Rebecca Pow MP has welcomed the announcement that Taunton Deane will benefit from £5.9 million of investment, under the Government’s Getting Building Fund.

The £900 million fund, which was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in June as part of the Government’s New Deal for Britain – an ambitious economic strategy to rebuild Britain after coronavirus, by putting skills and infrastructure investment at the heart of our economic recovery.

More than 300 projects, which have been determined as ‘shovel-ready, have been allocated a share of the fund. In total, the investment is expected to deliver up to 45,000 homes, create up to 85,000 jobs and reduce around 65 million kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions across England.

In Taunton Deane, the allocated £5.9 million Government funding will be used to support two projects; £5.5 million to help bring forward a 3,000 square meter ‘Digital Innovation Centre’ on the intended zero carbon ‘Firepool’ regeneration site in Taunton to support clean and productivity-led growth and provide flexible, high-quality innovation and collaboration space and support services targeted at new-start and existing businesses in, or moving into, the digital economy and £400,000 to meet the unresolved funding shortfall to create road access to Taunton Station and the Firepool development via a traffic signal junction and associated pedestrian crossing enhancement.

It builds on the commitments made by the Government during last year’s General Election to level up the whole country, investing in infrastructure and communities across the whole country. The Prime Minister’s New Deal accelerated more than £5 billion of investment on infrastructure projects, including the Getting Building Fund, while the Chancellor has also recently set out a Plan for Jobs, to support people in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Commenting, Rebecca Pow MP said:

“As we kickstart the economy and begin to recover from coronavirus, never has the Government’s agenda to level up the whole country been so important. That’s why I am delighted Taunton Deane will directly benefit from this Government money – helping to build the infrastructure our community needs while supporting jobs over the months and years ahead. I’ve been working with stakeholders to secure a Digital Innovation Centre as the heart of the Firepool development and it is welcome news that this will now come to fruition. It will develop an area of expertise that will not just benefit the local economy but will have wider regional and national consequences too. The funding for the Firepool and Taunton station access is also vital and welcome as it will now enable the Taunton Rail station upgrade to be completed, this was one of my original election commitments when I was first elected. Through important funds such as this, we can build our way back to health – with our communities stronger, more united and more connected than ever before.”

Matthew Golton, Interim Managing Director for GWR said:

“This is fantastic news.  Work is underway on the new multi storey car park, and the station improvements at Taunton and this last piece of the funding jigsaw will mean Somerset Council will now be able to make the highway changes to improve access.  This has been a real partnership project from the start, with the support of business, councils and national Government.  Everyone has worked so hard to get us to this point and this will make such a difference for our customers.”

Also commenting, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said:

“As we get Britain building, we are also laying the foundations for a green economic recovery by investing in vital infrastructure for local communities, creating jobs and building environmentally-friendly homes with a huge £1.3 billion investment announced today. This Government is determined to level up all parts of the country and this funding will not only give a much-needed boost to our economic recovery, it will help build the good quality, affordable homes the country needs.”

Cllr David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council also commenting said:

“I am delighted that we have funding through the LEP for these 2 really important schemes especially the Taunton Digital Innovation Centre.  I am very grateful to Rebecca Pow MP for her hard work and efforts to secure this money.”