The Government has announced that it has allocated £2.45million to the creation of a Rural Employment Hub at Branstone Farm near Apse Heath, providing new industrial and commercial space creating 100 new jobs.
Thousands of new homes and other vital infrastructure projects have been given the green light with more than £124million of investment in the South East confirmed by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today (Tuesday).
The move is part of the Government’s comprehensive plan to deliver upgrades to local infrastructure and boost skills to help fuel a green economic recovery.
Branstone Farm will be a mixed-use development designed to act as a template for sustainable work/live developments. This is an exemplar project, bringing to life the Island’s recently acquired Biosphere status, regeneration strategy and emerging land use plan.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP said:
“This Government is determined to deliver the changes we need to ensure the housing market delivers the well-designed, environmentally sustainable homes the people of the South East need, both now and in the future.
“This investment to create around 6,000 new homes in the South East reaffirms our commitment to uniting and levelling up every part of the country as we all work to bounce back from one of the greatest challenges of our time.”
Chris Ashman, the Isle of Wight Council’s director of regeneration, said:
“The ethos that underpins this proposed development is sustainability in its broadest sense — people living and working alongside each other within an environment that values the special character of the landscape.
“The aspiration to bring to life the concept of the biosphere is shared by all the partners involved.”
Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has welcomed the government investment in the scheme:
“I am delighted that together we have managed to make a strong case to government for this funding. The Branstone project is an exciting one for the Island and will deliver jobs and community housing.
“We now need to take a more long-term approach to modest and sensitive development on the Island that Branstone represents.”
The funding commitments come ahead of a radical overhaul of the planning system due to be announced shortly.
Work at Branstone is expected to begin in March 2021.