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£311M BOOST FOR LOCAL TRANSPORT AND LEISURE FACILITIES

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A new supertram to boost local transport services and regenerate ...
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£311m 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.
NOTES
The newly endorsed schemes are as follows:
SPONSORING LOCAL AUTHORITY/ CONTACT
DEPARTMENT NAME OF SCHEME/SERVICE
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 andsports 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 13th 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.
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