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2001-07-11 DTR-001
Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions


£311 million boost for local transport and leisure facilities

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Leeds Supertram
light rail

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Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions

£311 million boost for local transport and leisure facilities

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11 Jul 2001 00:00
source Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions
type Press release

A new Supertram to boost local transport services and regenerate run-down areas in Leeds, and a rapid transit scheme providing environmentally friendly transport services in South Hampshire are among seven projects to receive more than #311 million in funding.

Announcing the funds today, made available under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford said:

''The Private Finance Initiative is making a real contribution to improving people''s quality of live in a variety of ways. These schemes will bring improvements to public transport services, make neighbourhoods safer and improve the health and well-being of many local communities.''

Commenting on the support being made available for the two light rail schemes, Transport Minister John Spellar said:

''I am delighted that we have been able to harness PFI funds to provide some of the Government support for these light rail schemes approved earlier this year. Both schemes will offer real improvements in public transport for local people and businesses alike. Today''s announcement marks another step in the Government''s delivery of the ten year transport plan to develop a modern and efficient transport system fit for the 21st century.

Four of the schemes will provide new sports and leisure facilities and one will improve street lighting. In addition, PFI funds will also be available to meet some of the costs of the new light rail lines which were announced on 28 March 2001 to help deliver a high quality modern transport system.

The seven schemes receiving funds are:

* A new Supertram in Leeds to serve key transport corridors to the north and south of the city and enhance the position of Leeds as prime regional centre for business

* A new light rail system from Fareham to Portsmouth, through Gosport including a cross-harbour tunnel between Gosport and Portsmouth supporting regeneration and economic growth

* New sporting facilities in Penwith, Penzance that will support the health and regeneration initiatives in one of the most deprived districts in the country.

* New healthy living leisure centres in Breckland with a community transport scheme so the five market towns in the area can access services. The centres will promote healthy living and regular exercise and provide after school holiday programs.

* The redevelopment of three leisure centres in Amber Valley a deprived area with higher than average poverty and unemployment. Services include an IT training centre and sport and health facilities for the community.

* A new one-stop library, with integrated leisure and health facilities in the Downham/Grove Park area of Lewisham. It will bring together two GP practices, their primary care teams, district nurses and health visitors. It will help spearhead the campaign to promote healthier lifestyles to Lewisham residents.

* Improved street lighting in Wakefield to reduce nightime accidents, reduce crime and rejuvenate the streetscape in the city centre at night.

Commenting on the four sports and leisure projects, Minister for Sport Richard Caborn said:

''Finding the next Henman is a top priority. To do that we need to get better facilities and coaching. These deals are further proof that we are serious about sport.''

The Private Finance Initiative offers a partnership between the public and private sectors where local authorities can afford new or improved capital assets (usually buildings or roads but sometimes other plant apparatus or vehicles). Unlike traditional procurement the public sector does not buy the assets, but rather pays for the use of assets held by the private sector for the length of the contract.

Thirty five PFI schemes are now in operation providing new services to local people across the country and the benefits are already being felt on the ground. Some examples are 51 new homes provided in the former coal mining area of Holmewood in North East Derbyshire; improvements in the street lighting in Brent proceeding well ahead of schedule; new places for the elderly in residential homes in Surrey; new offices in Sheffield which improve the services provided and which are an essential part of the major regeneration of the city centre; and improved school conditions for pupils across 8 local authorities.


The newly endorsed schemes are as follows:


Department for West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Roger Pickup Transport, Local Executive - three lines serving Tel. 0113 251 7203 Government and three radial corridors to the north the Regions west, north east and south of the city, with a park and ride site at each terminus The system will have a fleet of 40 state of the art electric trams. Construction should start in 2002 and the scheme should open in 2006.

Hampshire CC - first phase of a scheme Alan Mills from Fareham to Portsmouth via Tel. 01962 846930 Gosport with sections of street running and using former heavy rail alignment along the Gosport peninsula. The new line should be open in 2006.

Wakefield MDC - replacement, renewal Andy Kerr and maintenance of street lightingTel. 01924 306007

Department for Penwith DC - replacement swimming Steve Hudson Culture, pool and new sports and leisure Tel. 01422 392501 Media and Sport facilities including sauna and cafe in Penzance

Breckland DC - new ''cross-cutting'' Julian Sims service providing new leisure Tel.01362 656288 centres and sports development initiatives in Attleborough, East Dereham, Swaffham, Thetford and Watton, linked by a community transport scheme

Amber Valley DC - redevelopment of Joe Noble three leisure centres in Tel. 01773 841 500 Alfreton, Heanor and Ripley, each with an IT training centre and community health facilities

Lewisham LB - a new, integrated David Welch library, leisure and health facility in the Downham/Grove Park area Tel. 020 8314 6207

1. Funding of the Leeds and South Hampshire light rail schemes was approved on 28 March (DETR PN 2001/ 191 refers). Today''s announcement announces that approval of the PFI element of the overall funding package has now been formally endorsed. This was assumed in the original funding agreements reached in March. It dos not represent any change to those agreements.

2. This is the thirteenth group of local government PFI projects endorsed by central government. The Leeds Supertram and South Hampshire Rapid Transit projects were announced on 28 March (News Release 191). A list of endorsed projects is on the Department''s website (see below for address). A paper copy is available on request.

3. Local authorities work with local government''s Public Private Partnerships Programme (the 4Ps) to submit projects to the sponsoring Government Departments for consideration. Departments in turn present the projects to the Project Review Group (PRG). The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) acts as chair and secretariat for the PRG. Further information about the OGC may be obtained from their website (www.ogc.gov.uk). Projects endorsed by the PRG and included in the list become eligible for revenue support as long as current proposals are translated into contracts. Endorsements are given for the year in which the project is expected to reach contract close and for a specified amount. If these circumstances change a project may have to be re-appraised by PRG.

4. The general criteria to be used in prioritising which schemes are to be put forward to the PRG were sent to local authorities on 21 December 1998 and 23 December 1999. Copies are available on request. The criteria that apply to specific services may be obtained from the relevant departments.

5. Local authorities that have put forward projects not included on this list will have the reasons for this explained to them by the relevant Government Department. In a small number of cases, no decision could be finalised before the issue of this news release and the appraisal will be completed as soon as possible; if endorsement is recommended, the formal letter will be issued immediately - there will be no need to await the next PRG meeting.

6. The timetable of the next PRG meetings is :

30 July 2001 17 September 2001 29 October 2001

Local authorities considering submitting proposals for new schemes should check with the relevant sponsoring department how soon an outline business case would be needed.

7. The procedures and the published lists relate only to projects requiring extra revenue support from central government. Projects that are financially free-standing and so do not require central government revenue support do not have to be considered by the PRG.

8. This announcement relates only to local authority PFI projects in England. Separate arrangements apply elsewhere.

Press Enquiries: 020 7944 3042; out of hours 020 7944 5925/5945 Public Enquiries Unit: 020 7944 3000; Email; press@dtlr.gov.uk Press Notices available via DETR website: http://www.dtlr.gov.uk DETR website address for list of projects:


Railhub Archive ::: 2001-07-11 DTR-001


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