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Swindon and Wiltshire Strategic Economic Plan

Volume 588: debated on Thursday 20 November 2014

15. What progress his Department has made on facilitating projects identified in the Swindon and Wiltshire strategic economic plan. (906148)

We are making great progress. I know you want Ministers to be brief, Mr Speaker, so I will simply highlight the £129 million we have invested in funding to support a number of projects, including the first phase of a new science park at Porton and a new service to help military service leavers.

That is very welcome indeed. Project 16 in the local enterprise partnership strategic economic plan is the reopening of Corsham station. How does the Minister see LEPs working with their neighbours, local authorities and industry on projects which, by their nature, require a solution that extends well beyond their boundaries?

It is important for LEPs to work together, and that is why I was so pleased to attend a meeting along with my hon. Friend last night with the Secretary of State for Transport, to highlight the importance of a potential Oxford to Bristol rail link. I know that my hon. Friend disagrees with the Minister for consumer affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for East Dunbartonshire (Jo Swinson), on pub issues, but I will endeavour also to enlist her support for this important project.