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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 August 2005, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Town's projects could get 11.3m
The government's Sustainable Communities Plan has earmarked a provisional 11.3m funding for projects in the Ashford area of Kent.

Six schemes have been asked to submit detailed funding bids to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister by November.

The projects cover housing, transport and the environment, and include Ashford's Learning Campus which will create 400 jobs in the town.

If they are successful, the money will be made available in early 2006.

The government's aim is for funded projects to be up and running by April.

Ashford projects
Ashford Learning Campus, 5.5m
Victoria Way Car Park, 2.5m
Newtown Way highway improvements, 2m
Willesborough Dykes, 0.9m
Biofuel Coppice Cultivation, 0.2m
Environment Centre, 0.2m
Councillor Paul Clokie, leader of Ashford Borough Council, welcomed the provisional investment but expressed disappointment that it was "somewhat less" than he had hoped.

"There has been little dialogue between the government and Ashford Future's delivery board over the projects for which we have been invited to submit full bids," said Mr Clokie.

"We will be seeking further discussions over how best we might use the money to deliver growth as successfully as possible."

The Sustainable Communities Plan is funding infrastructure improvements in places where significant investment is being made in house building.

Ashford was one of several growth areas identified, alongside the London-Cambridge M11 corridor and the Milton Keynes/south Midlands quadrangle.


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