£6.3 million Levelling Up Fund bid for Littleport
East Cambridgeshire District Council has submitted a £6.3 million Levelling Up Fund bid designed to help Littleport’s growing population live, work and thrive sustainably in the town.
If successful, the Council’s bid will support the creation of 270 new jobs and inject £19 million into the town’s economy.
It will also support the development of a 4.3km cycle path to help link up the businesses in the west with residential areas, the town centre and train station.
The proposals will help with levelling up the area which has one of the highest unemployment rates in East Cambridgeshire and lower levels of life expectancy. It also forms a key milestone in the wider Littleport Vision 2030 which includes the development of a country park to provide more green spaces for the town, and investment in the marina and riverside areas.
The bid sets to achieve the following five objectives:
1. Enhance Littleport’s economic output and productivity by seeding, attracting and developing new businesses and productive jobs
2. Stimulate new investment into Littleport including residential and commercial development by increasing confidence in Littleport as a place
3. Improve health and wellbeing of local people through active transport choices
4. Catalyse the knowledge, creative and evening economy in Littleport by supporting new businesses and creating a hub for social and cultural events
5. Support pride in place and a thriving town centre by encouraging a larger daytime population and movement throughout the town
In doing so, they address the three Levelling Up themes of transport, regeneration and culture as well as contributing direct outcomes towards Levelling Up Missions 1, 3, 7, 8 and 9 and indirectly to all 12 Levelling Up Missions.
Two projects have been developed with our strategic partners Genecon, Metrodynamics, Cambridgeshire County Council and Littleport Parish Council and will be managed by East Cambridgeshire District Council, which in partnership with Sport England, has already successfully delivered the £13.7 million Hive Leisure Centre Project in 2018 on time and on budget.
What are we planning to do?
Project 1: E-Space North Expansion
Funding request £3.7 million (85%)
Matched funds £0.7 million (15%)
Net benefits £11.9 million
Benefit Cost Ratio 2.42:1
This project will deliver the improvement and expansion of the East Cambridgeshire District Council’s owned and significantly oversubscribed 1,912sqm E-Space North Business Centre into a dynamic hub supporting enterprise formation and growth from early stage to scale-up.
The proposed 3,325sqm facility is essential to address the shortfall in employment opportunities and market failure of commercial work space developments in the town and will support approximately 270 workers, offering a diversity of lease and space provision. Operating as a business growth zone by day, the architecturally designed hub will also tap into the day-to-night economy, with the vision to become a training, arts, culture, heritage and community centre.
This focused support for cultural and creative industries will help Littleport encourage and capitalise on young populations moving into town from cities like Ely and Cambridge with high concentrations of creative talent.
Project 2: Cycle Path
Funding request £1.6 million (85%)
Matched funds £0.3 million (15%)
Net benefits £7.1 million
Benefit Cost Ratio 3.87:1
There are currently no dedicated pedestrian and cycling routes within Littleport. The LTN 1/20 compliant development of a 4.3km cycling and pedestrian route is essential for connecting the employment centres by E-Space North with residential communities, Littleport Train Station and surrounding green and open spaces. As well as encouraging a modal shift to greener, active travel, and providing wellbeing benefits through greater access to green space and surrounding nature, it will also establish the principle that all housing, work, leisure, travel and retail spaces should be easily accessible within 15 minutes.
What happens next?
The Levelling Up Fund Bid 2 was submitted to the Government in July 2022. If successful the Council will match fund 15 per cent of the cost of each project with secured funds, with a view to meeting the target delivery date of 2024/25.