Chancellor George Osborne has announced a £1 billion loan to extend the Northern Line to Battersea Power Station in London
Delivering his Autumn Statement today (5 December), Osborne promised the new loan and a ‘guarantee’ to extend the capital’s underground rail network ‘to support a new development on a similar scale to the Olympic Park.’
Under the plans, a government guarantee will allow London’s mayor to borrow the sum at a ‘preferential rate’.
The deal is subject to achieving a binding funding and development agreement with developers and local authorities before the end of 2013.
Extending the Northern Line would create a new station at Battersea Power Station and also in Nine Elms. The new link is required for the £8 billion redevelopment of the Grade II*-listed iconic building.
Rob Tincknell, chief executive of the Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: ‘Today’s confirmation that a £1bn loan is being made available to fundthe extension of the Northern Line is great news and will be welcomed by everyone that will be served by this infrastructure. The redevelopment of the Battersea Power Station will provide a major boost to London by creating 3,500 new homes, generating 26,000 new jobs as well as leading to the restoration of the iconic Power Station itself.’
He added: ‘The Chancellor’s confirmation of the funding arrangements follows five years of work into finding a public transport solution for this £8bn prime central London redevelopment, and will finally unlock the massive economic and social benefits this regeneration will bring to London and the UK economy.
‘This is a great example of the public and private sector working together for the benefit of the UK economy.’
Ravi Govindia, leader of local authority Wandsworth Council, described the announcement as ‘fantastic news’ for the capital.
He said: ‘The Northern Line Extension will breathe new life into Nine Elms on the South Bank – delivering 25,000 new jobs, 16,000 new homes, new parks and two new town centres.
‘It will revive the last dormant district of central London and yield billions of pounds in new economic growth and new tax revenues.
He added: ‘The Government’s commitment will add momentum to the investment programme and ignite a new wave of interest in this rapidly changing part of London.’
An additional £120 million investment was meanwhile pledged for flood defences and a £50 million contribution to constructing a new ‘Open Institute’ at Old Street Roundabout in London was promised.
The chancellor also announced a £1 billion investment in roads schemes including four major schemes.
The four schemes mentioned by the chancellor in the autumn statement are:
- An upgrade to the A1 from London to Newcastle; investment of £378 million to upgrade key sections of the A1 (Lobley Hill and Leeming to Barton) in the North East bringing the route from the M25 to Newcastle up to motorway standard;
- Linking the A5 and M1 (Dunstable Northern Bypass); expand capacity through building a new link between the A5 and M1 in the East of England and dualling the A30 Temple to Carblake in the South West, an investment of £157 million;
- the A30 via Cornwall
- and an upgrade to the M25; to tackle congestion with £150 million of investment for improvement works to J30 of the M25 starting in 2015; and £10 million funded from within the departments existing budget on improvements works at Junction 12 of the M40 in the West Midlands, starting in 2013
Further roads funding includes:
- £270 million for priority national and local projects to remove bottlenecks and support development;
- An additional £333 million in the essential maintenance of national and local road networks to renew, repair and extend the life of these roads;
- £42 million to develop the pipeline of potential Highways Agency road schemes for investment in the next Spending Review period; and
- Make a £42 million investment in the Sustainable Transport Fund in cycling infrastructure, including cycling safety.
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