NEW Government schemes to drive the economy could be ‘hugely beneficial’ to Dorset’s transport and communication links.

The Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has welcomed three new initiatives designed to help boost Britain’s economy and housing delivery.

They are:

Transport investment plan that will see local roads benefit from a multi-billion pound fund and the proposed creation of a major road network

Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to pave the way for a gold standard of full-fibre broadband and future 5G communications by enabling 100 per cent business rates relief for operators who install new fibre on their networks

A £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund for local authorities to help fund infrastructure projects for new housing

The LEP says it is working closely with partners and stakeholders to discuss opportunities for potential bids.

It could benefit economic growth projects such as the Dorset Innovation Park Enterprise Zone at Winfrith and the Western Growth Corridor between Weymouth and Dorchester.

Rob Dunford, interim director for Dorset LEP said: “These latest announcements are potentially hugely beneficial for Dorset.

“A better connected Dorset through physical and digital infrastructure improvements, as well as access to housing, is good for business and the well-being of residents.

“Dorset LEP has already managed to secure a large amount of government funding via local growth deals and other routes to improve transport networks, deliver high speed broadband and unlock land for housing right across the county. This is all helping to create jobs and boost the local economy.

"We are also working closely with our local authorities to address local housing issues surrounding affordability and availability. We now look forward to seeing how these latest government initiatives can support this work even further.”

Chairman of Dorset LEP Gordon Page said: “Transport, housing and high-speed communications are all vital components to a strong and successful economy. More housing will help to retain and attract the high-skilled workers Dorset businesses so desperately need, and improved road networks are needed to help to open up and connect urban and rural localities within our region.

"Access to better broadband will not only help our local businesses to thrive but also offers a more attractive proposition for companies to invest here.

"The Dorset LEP region has amongst the highest growth forecasts in the South of England and by seizing the opportunities presented in these plans we can play an even bigger role in helping to re-balance the UK economy.”