Work has finished on a multi-million-pound road scheme that will pave the way to a 1,000-job new East Devon business park.
The £4.5million enhancement scheme at Long Lane, near Exeter Airport, has taken two years and will ‘unlock’ development of the mooted 19-acre ‘Power Park’.
It will form part of the Exeter and East Devon Enterprise Zone.
Work at Long Lane – including a new bus loop and improved provision for pedestrians and cyclists – was completed on February 23.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) says the project will boost the local economy ‘through provision of new jobs and opportunities for clean and inclusive growth’.
The authority added that the scheme will improve access to Exeter Airport, Exeter College’s Future Skills Centre, and Exeter Aerospace maintenance hangars.
It will also help to enable the construction of the forthcoming France-Aldernay-Britain interconnector project.
EDDC leader Councillor Paul Arnott said: “I’m delighted to see completion of this important work which will help bring forward a new site and new jobs to our Enterprise Zone.
“The focus on sustainable transport with improved pedestrian, cycling and bus links all contribute to our clean growth vision for the area and helps us to meet our 2040 carbon neutral target to tackle climate change.
“It is fantastic news for local, young people who have better access to the Future Skills Centre, which in turn will improve the ability to access highly-skilled job opportunities.”
Cllr Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council cabinet member for economic recovery and skills, added:
“This has been a truly collaborative effort…to deliver such a transformational road scheme, which will be the catalyst for unlocking around 1,000 jobs at Power Park.
“The development of this infrastructure is a real boost for all modes of transport as it will deliver better walking and cycling links, as well as a 20-minute frequency bus service extending to the Future Skills Centre, Exeter Airport Business Park, the Hampton by Hilton hotel and the future business park.”
Karl Tucker, who chairs of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“Our area’s Enterprise Zones are a key part of the ongoing work to create new and better paid jobs for the people who live here.
“It is a fantastic step in the area’s clean growth journey.”
Exeter College chief executive John Laramy added: “The improvements to Long Lane are nothing short of transformational for that area. The enhancement will improve access, transport links and opportunities, not just for college students and apprentices, but for businesses and stakeholders that use and benefit from the Future Skills Centre.”
Exeter Airport managing director Stephen Wiltshire said:
“This scheme is vital to supporting better connectivity to the airport, helping to deliver growth and prosperity to the regional economy.”
EDDC agreed in January 2022 to increase its investment in the road scheme from £3.7million to £4.51million so it could be completed.
Cash borrowed for the project will be recouped from future ring-fenced business rate income from the Enterprise Zone sites.