Local Growth Fund – increasing prosperity & growth

Buckinghamshire is a significant wealth generator for the UK economy, contributing over £1.63 billion to the UK economy in 2022. Bucks LEP investment of over £73m Local Growth Funds has leveraged over £129m match funding generating a capital programme value of over £200m. These funds have successfully delivered over thirty priority schemes since the start of the programme in 2014 and is continuing to evolve, unleashing ambition and growth in key sectors across the County.

The Local Growth Fund is enabling the delivery of new major transport infrastructure in Beaconsfield and Aylesbury, providing greater skills opportunities in partnership with colleges and universities, and driving innovation and investment through a range of industry leading technology hubs, including Westcott, Silverstone, Pinewood and Stoke Mandeville Hospital. The investment has also boosted rural digital connectivity providing over 57,000 premises with access to ultrafast and Gigabit broadband services.

Project summaries and progress updates:

The implementation of the High Wycombe Town Centre Masterplan will strengthen the role of the Town Centre as the focus for employment, shopping and leisure activities. A key component of the Masterplan is an alternative southern transport route around the town centre, which will deliver a more attractive town centre, better connecting old and new developments, supporting environmental improvements including the potential restoration of the River Wye in the heart of the town.

The full business case for supporting this project was approved by the Bucks LEP Board in May 2016 allocating £8.48m of Local Growth Funding for this project.


Completion of the final stage of the new alternative town centre route was completed in November 2019. The aim of the scheme is to deliver over 25,000 sqm of business, commercial and retail space; over 470 new homes; and generate up to 1,380 new jobs.

The A4 Cycle and Bus Route improvement project, also known as the A4 Bath Road Sustainable Travel project, has improved safety and access to Taplow Rail station and Great Western Railway/ Crossrail services. The scheme also incorporates elements of bus infrastructure improvements, to help encourage bus-rail connectivity and to reduce car usage.

The full business case for this project was approved by the Bucks LEP board in September 2016 and was completed in November 2019. £1.53m of Local Growth Funding was allocated to this project.


The shared cycle link recorded over 30,000 cycle trips in 2020. Benefits of the scheme include improved access to Taplow station and Crossrail services, connecting local residential communities to major retail centres along the A4 Bath Road corridor between Maidenhead bridge and Huntercombe. In total over 380 new homes will benefit from this link. In addition, the scheme links to the Jubilee Path and Dorney Rowing Lake leisure and recreation area – home of the 2012 Olympics.

The A413 Sustainable Travel scheme introduced 9km of new shared cycle and footway corridor that interconnects the towns of Buckingham and Winslow – the site of the new railway station for East West Rail. This scheme also upgraded existing bus stops in Buckingham with real-time passenger information.

The full business case for this project was approved by the Bucks LEP board in March 2016 approving £2.21m of Local Growth Funding for the development of this scheme.


Construction of this new facility commenced in June 2016 and was completed in January 2017. Over 15,000 cycle journeys were recorded along this route in 2020, with numbers set to increase when the new Station at Winslow is completed as part of the East West Rail scheme.

The A355 provides the main north-south route in the county connecting Amersham and the A413 to the north and Beaconsfield and the M40 to the south. The improvements will reduce congestion, mitigate the impact of HS2 HGV traffic, and improve journey times on this key connection to the M40, as well as improving north/ south transport connectivity to promote economic growth across Buckinghamshire.

The full business case for this project was approved by the Bucks LEP board in May 2016 allocating £6.05m to this project.

A355 Improvement Scheme plan

Launch of new relief road


The final southern section of the new link road scheme was completed by developers Inland Homes in the spring 2022, connecting with the Pyebush roundabout junction on the A40 London Road. In addition, the new road scheme will unlock over 500 new homes that are planned for the development at Wilton Park.

Stocklake link road

The aim of these transport schemes is to manage traffic capacity on the highway network, to enhance public transport provision and advance the wider regeneration of the East of Aylesbury in order to drive economic growth and development. These schemes also form part of a wider highway network strategy to provide key link roads, which promote both North-South regional connectivity, linking Milton Keynes to the North and the M25 and London in the South, as well as orbital traffic movements around Aylesbury rather than through the town centre.


Work on the Stocklake link road was completed in spring 2017. The Stocklake link supports the Kingsbrook residential development and the delivery of 2,450 new homes.  The exemplar site has incorporated green space, flood protection and natural habitat providing direct public access to open green space and direct sustainable link routes through to the town centre. Bucks LEP allocated Local Growth Funding of £3.56m to this project.

Providing a key section of the outer Aylesbury Ring Road, the Eastern Link Road South scheme will be delivered by Buckinghamshire Council, as part of the proposed Aylesbury Woodlands development, which was finally granted outline planning approval in January 2022.

The site is part of the Buckinghamshire Enterprise Zone, which will deliver 1,100 new homes, and over 120,000 sqm of new business space along with leisure, recreation and green facilities. These transport schemes also support the wider growth and ambitions of the recently designated Aylesbury Garden Town. With additional support from Homes England Housing Infrastructure Fund, the Council is developing plans with Taylor Wimpey, the promotors of the adjacent Hampden Fields development, to advance delivery of proposed new major junction on the A41 Aston Clinton Road as part of the first phase of the Aylesbury Eastern Link Road. Works are expected to start 2023/24.

Eastern Link Road South scheme

The Further Education sector is vital in delivering the right skills that have been identified in the Bucks Skills Improvement Plan, to support local economy and key industries in Buckinghamshire. The Bucks College Group has provided its students with an outstanding learning experience based at the facilities provided at its Amersham and Flackwell Heath campuses, with over 300 students benefiting from education and training at these facilities since their completion in 2017.


The facilities supported by Bucks LEP £2.69m Local Growth Funding, included a media suite and online training facilities at the Amersham site, a new motor vehicle engineering and construction trades facility at the Flackwell Heath campus, and new multi-surface sports pitches.

Completed as part of the first phase the Colleges longer term estates strategy, the scheme has been highly successful with plans being implemented to relocate these construction and motor engineering training facilities to High Wycombe Town Centre as part of the College Group’s longer term estates strategy – to cater for growing demands and improve access to education and training hubs.

The National Film and Television School (NFTS) in Beaconsfield is globally recognised as the best film and TV school in the world with its graduates regularly featuring on the Oscar and Bafta awards lists. £1.5m of Bucks LEPs funding was used to build a new Digital Content Production Training Studio which is now one of the most advanced dedicated training facilities in the UK and has the ability to shoot, record and stream live content in high definition 4k.



Following approval by the Bucks LEP board construction work began in July 2016, progress was swift with the new facilities opening in early 2017. To date over 500 full and part time students have benefited from a range of MA, Diploma and NVQ courses. For further information please go to the National Film and Television School website.

Westcott Venture Park is one of three sites in Buckinghamshire that has secured Enterprise Zone status. The vision for the park is to be a globally leading centre for upstream space services, satellite and communications technology, and propulsion systems, building on the rich heritage of the site as the UK’s base for development and testing of rocket propulsion systems.

£600k of Local Growth Funding was approved by the Bucks LEP board in March 2016 to develop a 5G testbed (Future Networks Development Centre) at the Westcott Venture Park site to provide a test site for the development of 5G mobile network applications, including healthcare, aviation, connected autonomous vehicle technology, agri-tech robotics and other applications.


Since completion in 2017, the Satellite Applications Catapult has secured several multi-million commercial contracts with a growing number of clients, including European Space Agency and the National Health Service.

The facility provides open access to businesses and is linked to other Space Cluster facilities, including the Incubation Centre, Westcott Innovation Centre, Drone Port, Living Lab and In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing capabilities. For further information please go to the Westcott Space Cluster website.

Blog by Kieran Arnold, Director of Ubiquitous Connectivity at the Satellite Applications Catapult – Space, Connectivity and Innovation in Westcott

“Through the Local Growth Fund, we have invested £2m in The Westcott Innovation Centre – an important example of this government’s commitment to becoming a world leader in the space sector while levelling up jobs and opportunities in our regions.”  Luke Hall MP, (Former) Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government.

Bucks LEP is working in partnership with the Satellite Applications Catapult and UK Space Agency, investing in world class facilities and unique capabilities as part of the growing ‘Space Cluster’ at Westcott in Buckinghamshire. The Local Growth Funded Westcott Innovation Centre provides commercial space, workshops, training and conferencing facilities for a growing number of businesses, involved in research, development and testing of upstream space, satellite technology, communications and propulsion systems.

The Westcott Innovation Centre provides a base for a range of new space technology, research, innovation and development companies, including AVS, URA Thrusters, Benchmark, Protolaunch and One Web. For further information visit the Westcott Space Cluster website.


The Bucks LEP board approved £2m towards this project at their meeting in September 2016. In addition, a further £1.2m Enterprise Zone funding was approved to increase the size of the building, resulting in a total Bucks LEP investment of £3.2m. Planning was approved for the Satellite Applications Innovation Centre in December 2019 and construction of the building started in January 2020 and completed in October 2020 – delivering 1,200 sqm of dedicated flexible space for commercial testing research and development of satellite systems and technologies.

In partnership with the Westcott site owners Patrizia and Buckinghamshire Council Highway Authority, Buckinghamshire LEP also part funded (£800k) the highway access improvements to the Westcott site from the A41 Bicester Road. The highway improvements started in January 2020 and was completed in time for the occupation of the Innovation Centre in October 2020. The scheme has ensured future capacity to support growth and expansion of the Enterprise Zone, Space Cluster and wider business park.

Latest news

OneWeb, the global communications network powered from space, announced the opening of its state-of-the-art Service Demonstration Experience at the new Innovation Centre at Westcott Venture Park. OneWeb’s unique facility is now welcoming visitors to demonstrate the performance and potential applications of their satellite network in real-time.

To view the OneWeb UK demo click here

£93,500 was approved by the Bucks LEP board in May 2016 to enable the Aylesbury Training Group to purchase specialist new engineering equipment to develop its programme of training services for its nationally renowned cycle training programme from its Aylesbury base.


The funding has been used to help the group establish the UK’s first technicians course for e-bike maintenance, support the digital design curriculum, and to support recruitment campaigns to increase take up of existing courses and extend the range offered.

The scheme has subsequently been relocated out of the area after two years of successful operation, and the Local Growth Fund grant repaid to Bucks LEP and reinvested into the Local Growth Fund programme.

For further details click:  Aylesbury Training Group Technical Skills Project.

This innovative scheme was a collaboration between the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Bucks New University, to establish two new business incubation and innovation hubs, one at Wycombe University campus and one at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, linking business to clinical research and healthcare services.

Business case approved by Buckinghamshire LEP in 2017, allocated a total of £1.3m Local Growth Fund to the schemes.


Works on the Stoke Mandeville Health Research and Innovation Centre started in October 2019 and were completed in September 2021.

Local Growth Fund investment by Bucks LEP supported the new Research and Innovation Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, home of the Paralympic movement. The new facility will support a business incubation hub linking business to clinical research and healthcare services. It brings together the best of the clinical healthcare and the innovators in the med-tech industry to develop pioneering treatments and care for patients, creating investment opportunities and jobs in specialist healthcare sectors, including spinal injury and upper limb prosthetic technologies and rehabilitation.

The Wycombe University project was completed in summer 2019 and is linking medical science and innovation with clinical services across 296 sqm of flexible co-working and business incubation space.

The facility at Wycombe is being managed by Oxford Innovation on behalf of the University of Buckingham. Future plans are being developed with the University to integrate the Health Tech Hub offer as part of the new Brunel Shed at High Wycombe Rail Station.

Launch event

Plan of Wycombe Innovation Centre

This scheme is currently deferred with agreement with main partner Great Western Rail. 

Rail improvement scheme to provide two hourly frequency rail service for passengers between Marlow and Maidenhead. A collaborative project with Great Western Rail, Local Authorities and local businesses to improve north south rail connectivity and journey times eliminating the need to change trains at Bourne End Station.

The scheme will provide a faster service to GWR mainline as well as connecting Crossrail and the planned Western Rail Link to Heathrow. The £5m scheme is match funded by development contributions and supported by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. The scheme will provide more regular public transport links to Globe Business Park reducing need to travel by car and impact on the congested A404 Strategic Road corridor between M4 and M40.

£1.7m of Local Growth Funding has been allocated to this scheme which is at GRIP3 in the Network Rail development process.


Great Western Railway have signed a partnership agreement with Network Rail, to support them deliver their forward programme of rail improvements.

Bucks LEP has invested £2.4m Local Growth Fund in the Connected Counties Broadband programme in Buckinghamshire, £1.7m in Contract 1 and £700k in Contract 2. The scheme has been delivered through the Government match funded national BDUK contract framework, in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council, Buckinghamshire Council, BT Openreach and Department for Digital Media Culture & Sport (DCMS).

The first phase of this programme, Contract 1, was commenced in 2014 and completed in March 2017. It has achieved one of the highest levels of service take up of all UK contracts and has provided over 45,000 homes and businesses in Buckinghamshire with access to ultrafast and gigabit capable broadband services. The programme was extended in Contract 2, which was completed in 2022, and has provided services to over 12,000 additional premises.

The original target, which was to reach 95% superfast broadband coverage county-wide by December 2019, was achieved 16 months early, and by December 2019 the county had over 96% superfast coverage, with take-up of Contract 1 connections being amongst the highest in the UK.

The success of the Connected Counties programme, led to Buckinghamshire Council securing a further £1.8m additional grant through DEFRA and the delivery of the phase 3, Bucks Rural Business Broadband programme, supported by Bucks LEP through the Getting Building Fund. This has delivered Gigabit full fibre connectivity to a further 600 businesses and residential rural premises across rural Buckinghamshire.

The Local Enterprise Partnership are currently looking at how they can support further roll-out of superfast and ultrafast broadband across Buckinghamshire through future contracts, including the national Gigabit Voucher ‘Top Up’ scheme.

For further information please go to the Connected Counties or Broadband in Buckinghamshire websites.

Local Growth Fund 3 funding of £3m was approved by the Bucks LEP Board in March 2017, which has gone toward this iconic project to create a centre where business and education can interact and build on the University’s internationally recognised reputation in pioneering the techniques of entrepreneurship learning.


Construction of the University of Buckingham’s new Vinson Centre commenced in summer 2017 with completion in November 2018. For further details click: Vinson Centre

The new centre benefits from over 865 sqm of high-quality learning space, including a library, book shop and cafe, which has benefited over 2,000 students to date. In addition, the centre has created 11 new jobs.

Supported by Buckinghamshire LEP in the 3rd round of Local Growth Funding in 2016, a total of £13.5m grant has been allocated to this key transport scheme, which is being delivered by Buckinghamshire Council and managed by the Department for Transport as a retained scheme.


The scheme was granted planning approval in early 2022 and with works progressed to deliver the project by 2024/5. The scheme is an integral part of the Aylesbury outer link road and supports the Aylesbury Garden Town development plan.

The new route will also connect and enable development of major new housing and employment locations to the south of Aylesbury and ensure better regional connectivity. Linking the A4010 to A413 Hampden Fields, the scheme will facilitate 4,735 homes and 29,000 sqm of business space.

For further details click: South East Link Road 

To watch a video of the proposed scheme click here.

Silverstone Sports Hub

“Silverstone is world famous for bringing sporting excellence and technology together through motorsport. Now, thanks to £2 million investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, the new Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub will boost innovation in other sports including high-performance cycling, support businesses to grow and bring jobs to the local area.”  The Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, (Former) Minister of State for Local Growth.

Local Growth Fund 3 funding of £2m was earmarked for a new Innovation Centre at Silverstone to advance the development of the High-Performance Technology Cluster.


The business case for the facility was endorsed by the Bucks LEP Board at its meeting in September 2017 and the centre was opened in September 2019. For further details click: Silverstone Innovation Centre.

“Tapping into the world class high-tech skills pool around Silverstone enables us to create a unique innovation incubator for companies in sports engineering and services which we predict will have global appeal.” Rob Lewis, TotalSim and SSEH Director.

The Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub includes two wind tunnels and a sports fabrics R&D centre, and is housed in a new 2,415 sqm building as part of a wider 11,612 sqm speculative development by Silverstone Park developer MEPC within the Buckinghamshire Enterprise Zone.

Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub featured in bike performance video by BikeRadar:

Latest news:

The scheme has been successful in securing an additional £5m investment from Sport England and Buckinghamshire Enterprise Zone, to deliver a globally unique swimming flume testing facility  – the next evolution of the sports science facility.

Bucks LEP invested £1.32m of Local Growth Funds in the Buckinghamshire New University Digital Innovation Lab – to enable the refit of the ground floor of the University.


Work was completed in September 2019, with facilities for SME’s now available and being promoted by Buckinghamshire New University and Oxford Innovation.

Business incubation hub facilities include a Cyber Resilience Centre, a CAD and Virtual Reality Suite, mobile outreach and a café.

Bucks LEP invested £1.64m of Local Growth Funding for the creation of a new bespoke education centre at Pinewood Studios for postgraduate and MA’s in Film and Creative related studies. The scheme will enable development of film and creative industries education and skills curriculum, with industry tailored courses in film, screen and creative media studies up to Level 4 and Foundation.


A partnership between Buckinghamshire New University, Creative Media Skills and Bucks LEP – the first of its kind in the in the UK – saw over 100 students in the past two years and applications increasing.  An additional 1,400 sq ft has been acquired to expand degree and masters graduate offer.

The National Centre for Immersive Storytelling  at The National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield received £228k Local Growth Funding from Bucks LEP for this scheme, which was completed in Autumn 2019.


This unique facility is first of its kind in the UK, to support innovative student commissions, and help train industry specialists in the potential of immersive creative and screen content.  The major new investors in creative content the FANG Group (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) are all seeking to invest in immersive content and the optimal development of this facility will assist the school in opening commercial dialogue with these new partners.  The new facility will also help strengthen existing corporate partnerships that the school are also developing with the likes of Disney and Channel 4.

The facility opened for students in October 2019, for further details click here.

Bucks LEP invested £1.6m of Local Growth Funds into the University of Buckingham’s centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Innovation. This investment will help to address the gap in the academic application and ethical research into the use of AI.


The opportunities provided by the application of AI is of growing importance to Buckinghamshire businesses and we are looking to support the University in helping work collaboratively in this field with entrepreneurial businesses and particularly with those located at our rapidly growing Enterprise Zone sites at Silverstone and Wescott. It will also enhance Buckinghamshire’s pivotal position and help to attract inward investment and create a step change in local economic growth.

Video – Fly across the world in virtual reality (BBC Three Counties)

Launch of the School of Computing’s Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Innovation hub on 3 September 2021

Bucks LEP are supporting this scheme with Local Growth Funding to support major improvements to Marlow’s Westhorpe Interchange and improve access to and from the Globe Business Park.

This is a major opportunity to make it easier to attract new businesses, new skills and new talent to an important business centre with a strong reputation.


This summer improvements will be taking place to the busy Westhorpe Junction, one of the main access points into Marlow. This intersection between the A404 and A4155 is a major traffic pinch-point at busy times, causing general delays and restricting access to the Globe Business Park, a major local economic hub.

Plans for the changes to Westhorpe Junction were developed following a January 2019 public consultation on local preferences for improving this traffic black spot.

The scheme involves the provision of a new left-hand lane on the northbound exit from the A404 dedicated to traffic that needs to turn left into Parkway. To help manage traffic flow at this junction part time traffic signals will also be installed on the roundabout.

This project is being funded by several funding streams including Local Growth Funding of £120,000.

Buckinghamshire LEP will publish Business Cases and Independent Evaluations for projects supported by our local growth fund schemes, within the reports section on this website, and would welcome comments on these assessments. If you have any questions or would like to comment on any project please e-mail:  info@buckslep.co.uk .