Two of the three Strategic Investment Pool (SIP) bids by the West London Alliance have been successful, bringing £11.1million of Mayoral funding to the sub-region to deliver better broadband and skills and employment up-scaling.
It was reported at the West London Economic Prosperity Board that the bid for broadband network “spine” roll out to “not-spots” programme has been recommended to receive £7.7m, which will lever c.£150m of TfL digital procurement investment.
The programme will extend the broadband trunk network to locations where connectivity is poor, making use of the public buildings (including libraries, schools, offices and hospitals) to enable private providers to invest in those areas for the first time.
The skills and employment up-scaling has been recommended to receive £3.4m for a range of projects and pilots.
The third bid, for £9m for West London Orbital Complementary and enabling measures including place-making, land safeguarding, master planning and community integration, which was supported by TfL and OPDC, was not successful, it is believed because the new line is not yet fully funded.
Twenty-two bids were received from across London, with a total value of £123m bid for against a total available SIP resource of £46.83m. Of the three bids submitted by West London Alliance Boroughs, London Councils is recommending that 1 and 2 are fully funded, totalling £11.13m in total.
The WLO bid appears to have been bigger in terms of investment potential (20,000 homes, c.£200m of CIL) than all other SIP bids in London put together.
The WLA growth programme have recently specified and commissioned with TfL a full funding study into the scheme, which will set out the range of options for resourcing line construction and operation. This study is expected to be completed by late 2018, at which point, subject to future SIP rounds taking place and the continued viability of the scheme, a revised bid will be able to be submitted.
Other WLO work is progressing, as it was not at this stage dependent on securing SIP funding.
Colin Stanbridge, CEO, of London Chamber of Commerce, commended the West London Alliance on their success: “The success in these SIP bids is excellent. LCCI wants to see financial devolution to both the Mayor of London and individual boroughs or groups of boroughs. And it’s great to see boroughs acting together – West London is demonstrating that this is a more effective way to work.
“Orbital railways were a big part of the Outer London Commission discussions, which I was part of. I wish you the best of luck with the West London Orbital. We will continue to campaign for more rail investment, including Crossrail 2, which while it doesn’t directly touch West London, will have a positive effect, and for more to come under the control of TfL.”