Temple Meads Redevelopment

Ambitious plans to transform Bristol Temple Meads station and the Great Western train line were unveiled by First Group last Monday (31st) as part of Network Rail’s £7.5bn investment in the UK rail network. Once work on the electrification of the line is complete, the number of services from Bristol to London is set to double to four an hour, with journey times cut to 1 hour 20 minutes. Temple Meads will benefit from a £100m upgrade, including a major refurbishment, two new platforms and the possibility of a corridor directly linking the station with the upcoming Bristol Arena. The investment forms a large part of the long-term ambitions of Temple Quarter and is set to transform Temple Meads into a world-class gateway for the city.

LEP bid for share of £2bn government pot

On the same day, the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was one of 39 LEPs across the country to submit its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) to the government. The plan sets out how the LEP intends to create jobs and boost growth in the South West by bidding for a £90m share of a £2bn government pot over six years. Among the 34 projects earmarked for investment is a proposed £5m extension to the successful Engine Shed, which is already at capacity having recently opened in December 2013.

Growth Fund

The LEP also hopes to invest £16m in grants for small and medium-sized businesses, which would build on the success of the existing Growth Fund. As part of this ongoing fund, businesses in Greater Bristol are able to apply for grants from a £10m pot. Applications are open until the end of April and businesses can apply by visiting the West of England LEP website.

Vince Cable visits the BTQEZ

And on April 3rd, Business Secretary Vince Cable was in town visiting some of the most innovative and fastest growing businesses in Bristol. Kicking things off with a visit to Engine Shed and a discussion with the LEP about their Strategic Economic Plan submitted to government earlier that week, Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson then joined Colin Skellett, chair of the LEP, in running Dr. Cable through the future plans for Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. The Business Secretary visited Engine Shed-based companies Blu Wireless, Plexus Planning and Fusion Processing, a company he was particularly interested in. You can find out a little more about Fusion Processing by clicking here.