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Babergh projects in line for share of £1.1m funding revealed

PUBLISHED: 12:33 13 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:33 13 October 2018

The artist impression of the Hamilton Road quarter in Sudbury, which is getting £500,000 from the business rates retention scheme Picture: CARTER JONAS

The artist impression of the Hamilton Road quarter in Sudbury, which is getting £500,000 from the business rates retention scheme Picture: CARTER JONAS

Carter Jonas

Approval has been given for £1.1million of cash to be pumped into key projects in Babergh.

Babergh council leader John Ward said the schemes were vital onces for the district Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBabergh council leader John Ward said the schemes were vital onces for the district Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The seven figure sum was collated as part of a pilot scheme which featured Suffolk councils retaining 100% of the business rates collected for this year, rather than sending 50% to central government as usual.

The pilot means Suffolk’s authorities have an additional £11m to invest, with Babergh and Mid Suffolk each gaining £1.1m.

Development of the Hamilton Road quarter in Sudbury is set to get £500,000 of funding, while £200,000 apiece has been earmarked for the Angel Court housing development and work on the Delphi site.

A further £60,000 will go into establishing an inclusive growth engagement officer, with £30,000 being put into forming a Central Suffolk Chamber of Commerce – a body which will represent business interests in the area.

At Babergh District Council’s cabinet meeting on Thursday, the five projects which will get the lion’s share of the cash were approved.

Councillor John Ward, Babergh leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “Supporting projects through the funding provided by this pilot is key for the future growth of our community.

“I’m delighted we’ve been able to approve this money which is earmarked for vital initiatives such as the Hamilton Road Quarter in Sudbury and establishing a Central Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.

“With a total of £1.1m to spend, I look forward to more great projects receiving funding from this pilot.”

Suffolk was one of 10 areas across the country selected for the pilot scheme, with county leaders hoping the pilot will be able to continue in future.

It is understood that central government has already ruled out allowing councils to keep 100% of the rates in any potential scheme going forward, but 75% retention could be an option.

Mid Suffolk’s cabinet approved its projects last week.

In July, the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group which encompasses all the council leaders and chief executives of the borough and district councils alongside police bosses outlined its vision for the £11m.

Other key programmes include a revamp of the Waterfront gateway in Ipswich and £800,000 on car parking and drainage in Woodbridge.

Babergh’s projects

•Sudbury Hamilton Road and town centre - £500,000

•Angel Court housing development - £200,000

•Delphi site/Newton Road and South Suffolk business area – £200,000

•Inclusive growth engagement officer - £60,000

•Establishing a Central Suffolk Chamber of Commerce - £30,000

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