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The Twin Sails Bridge which will link Poole and Harmworthy has been given the go ahead.
The 37 million pound project will create 2 thousand homes, 5 thousand jobs and a new waterfront with shops, restaurants and bars.
Poole's long awaited Twin Sails Bridge can now be built following an announcement from the Government that it will fund the project.
The Department for Transport today approved a £14.141 million grant to help fund the construction of the town’s much-needed second harbour crossing.
This funding is the final hurdle before the development of the £37 million Twin Sails Bridge project can begin and adds to a £9.96 million investment from the South West RDA’s (Regional Development Agency) £50 million Regional Infrastructure Fund and other public sector sources.
Councillor Brian Leverett, Leader of the Council said: "This is an historic day for Poole and marks the culmination of many years of hard work. The Twin Sails Bridge is a world class bridge and is a symbol of our ambition for the town. The Twin Sails Bridge opens up the largest regeneration site in the South West and will enable £600 million of development that will transform the town. Over the next 10 years, this project will create 2,000 homes, 5,000 jobs and an exciting new waterfront for Poole."
Councillor Ron Parker, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Local Economy, Borough of Poole, said: "Plans for a second harbour crossing have been considered for more than 30 years. Confirmation of this funding means we can now turn these plans into reality. Over the next few weeks we will finalise the appointment of a contractor and expect construction to start on the Twin Sails Bridge early in the summer. The construction period will last for 20 months and the bridge will open to the public in early 2012."
Councillor Mike Brooke, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: "It is a great relief that the Government has honoured its pledge. This scheme will open up great opportunities for the town, helping to create much needed employment in these recessionary times. Both administrations have recognised the importance of the regeneration that this scheme will help to bring."
Jim Bright, Strategic Director and Project Sponsor for the Twin Sails Regeneration, said: "I am delighted by this news. This has been a huge challenge for the council and has required a committed team of people, dedicating years of energy and enthusiasm, to realise this work. It has been a pleasure to lead such a creative and skilled team towards this achievement."
Ian Piper, Director of Development at the South West RDA, said: "This is a transformational project for Poole that will unlock the huge regeneration potential of this site, creating thousands of jobs, and is exactly the sort of project we set up the RIF to deliver. The council should be applauded for its tenacity and commitment in making Twin Sails happen and we look forward to its completion."
Gordon Page, Chair of the Multi Area Agreement Board, said: "The business community in Poole, Bournemouth and Dorset is committed to creating new industries and new jobs that align with the ‘green’ agenda. The Twin Sails Bridge opens up huge potential for the former power station site and other land adjacent to the Back Water channel. Poole’s plans are ambitious and fit very well with emerging economic opportunities and we congratulate the local authority for getting to this point in very challenging times."
Poole MP, Robert Syms, said: "By securing a debate on the Twin Sails Bridge in Whitehall, we have ensured that the needs of people of Poole have been recognised at a Government level. We are delighted that a good local authority has been able to take this important project forward."
Annette Brooke, Dorset Mid & Poole North MP, said: "The Twin Sails Bridge is an important project for the town. The aspiration to have a second harbour crossing is something that I was heavily involved with as a councillor and I have been pleased to support its delivery as an MP."