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Businesses in Taunton Deane

Volume 659: debated on Tuesday 30 April 2019

The Heart of the South West local enterprise partnership, which covers both Somerset and Devon, is receiving £239 million through the local growth fund to drive regional economic development. That includes an investment of over £24 million in projects in Taunton Deane, such as the redevelopment of Taunton station and improvements to junction 25, which is one of the largest investments that we have made in the south-west through the local growth fund to date.

I welcome the Minister to his new role. Will he join me in congratulating all those involved in the development of the new headquarters for the UK Hydrographic Office, the opening of which I attended in Taunton last week? Will he also join me in supporting the endeavour to use its expertise in marine data to open a marine geospatial innovation centre at Firepool in Taunton to open up opportunities in the blue economy?

I will of course join my hon. Friend in congratulating those involved in the opening of the new UK Hydrographic Office headquarters in her constituency. It is a world-class natural asset. The UKHO is working with local partners to scope the feasibility of developing a marine geospatial innovation centre in Taunton, and it plays a key role in the south-west’s local industrial strategy.