February 2019: Your Local MP
AS THE local MP and Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, I am very proud our local area is strengthening its role at the forefront of aerospace and advanced engineering.
I am delighted to see the Bristol & Bath Science Park in our constituency go from strength to strength, thanks to a major expansion which was announced last month. The planned developments will see the National Composites Centre at the Science Park being expanded to facilitate the ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ programme, in collaboration with leading industry partners such as Airbus, which will ensure faster and cheaper wings manufacturing and assembling.
This comes as our local area recently celebrated how funding boost from the Government’s Local Growth Fund has helped South Gloucestershire Council and the University of Bath to purchase our Science Park, securing its long-term future as a world-class centre of excellence for research and development in our region. The recent approval of the Science Park’s extension is also great news for our local community as it will ensure our area will continue to lead the world in future aerospace development.
Great local investment plans are also moving forward for Kingswood, and I’m delighted to see almost £500,000 of funding from the Love our High Streets initiative has already been released to support Kingswood High Street, named as a priority location for local regeneration plans. I am pleased that £248,000 released from this fund has now been matched with £215,000 of funding from our Conservative-run South Gloucestershire Council. This investment will be used to provide our High Street with a new Green Machine street sweeper, 30 new litter bins, and extra money for street cleaning, responding to local residents’ demands for a tidier and cleaner High Street.
I am also delighted to hear about plans to develop a Heritage Lottery Fund submission for investment in our treasured Kingswood Park, as replicating our recent success with the multi-million-pound transformation of Page Park in Staple Hill would lead to a similar transformation of what is a vital and prominent part of the High Street. As your local MP, I was also encouraged to hear about the workshop that has been recently held with local businesses and groups to progress plans to improve access to digital skills training for residents, and look forward to funding eventually being released to support the Tabernacle’s restoration. These improvement and regeneration schemes will help address some of the issues that the community has regularly raised with me as the local MP.