Council’s enterprise “investment” pointless without bypass

Press release
16th August 2019

Councillors’ promises of a muti-million pound investment boost for enterprise will amount to “phantom funding” unless Hereford’s bypass scheme goes ahead, business campaigners have warned.

Herefordshire Business Board was responding to the announcement by Herefordshire Council of a planned £5.231m investment at the Enterprise Zone, located at Skylon Park in Rotherwas.

Council leader David Hitchiner suggested the spending would cover “essential infrastructure such as access roads and cycleways, ultrafast broadband and utility supplies.”

But business board chairman Frank Myers MBE said: “This announcement completely overlooks the fact that the only infrastructure that really matters for the Skylon Park site is the long-promised bypass.”

The board this week launched a crowd-funded information campaign in favour of the bypass scheme going ahead after the council called a halt to work for  a review of the entire project.

It has produced a dossier highlighting the lasting damage to the county’s jobs market, prosperity and overall economy if the bypass is scrapped.

Mr Myers said: “On the one hand the council is acknowledging the huge potential of investors wanting to move onto Skylon park, but then talking about peripheral investment on things like cycle lanes.

“That is all well and good, but we have clear information that only a fraction of the potential enterprise zone footprint can be developed without the bypass connecting it to the national roads network.

“Without the bypass none of this will matter because the site cannot be fully developed. It is a phantom investment. With the bypass Skylon Park can be the promise land. Without it, large parts will remain a waste land.

“If the council wishes to be serious about enterprise, job creation and attracting hi-tech inward investment, the bypass is the only way forward.”

This press release by the Herefordshire Business Board is in response to Herefordshire Council’s announcement of £5.231m investment to support the creation of new jobs. You can read that in full on the Herefordshire Council website.


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