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Tag Archives: RGF

KCC’s empty begging bowl

In the middle of last year, the Government (in the form of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills - BIS) launched the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The RGF aims to "support projects and programmes that lever private sector investment creating economic growth and sustainable employment. It aims particularly to help those areas and communities currently dependent on the public sector to make the transition to sustainable private sector-led growth and prosperity".

Across the length and breadth of our proud nation, there was a cacophony of snorts and oinks as snouts were pressed to the trough, greedy for their share of the £1.4 billion on offer. KCC was there, looking for a handout to support their crackpot proposal for a Parkway station at Manston, and some free money for the airport. Here's why they failed:

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Manston boss and KCC make bid to government for east Kent regeneration cash

The second RGF funding bid

Manston airport's chief executive has called on the Government to recognise east Kent's economic problems when allocating the next round of Regional Growth Fund cash. Charles Buchanan is working with Kent County Council to submit an improved bid after a previous application for £10 million was rejected by the team in charge of distributing the £1.4 billion pot.

The Manston bid was for a parkway railway station serving the airport, an extension of the high-speed rail network between Ramsgate and Ashford, and cash to fund a daily air service to an undisclosed "European hub" airport. But the application was dealt a further blow last week when Lord Michael Heseltine - chairman of the RGF inependent advisory panel - hinted at a roadshow in Margate that Kent bids were at a disadvantage because the county's residents can travel short distances to London for work.

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The Parkway Station fiasco develops

KCC are asking for £10m as a starter for the hundreds (?) of millions the station will eventually cost - as if they can't think of anything better to with that kind of money. Mind you, if the China Gateway saga is anything to go by, I would be completely unsurprised to find that some canny TDC councillors have had the foresight to buy some land (that would then need to be compulsorily purchased) slap-bang where the station is proposed. Stay tuned.

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New station ‘would help airport lift off’

A proposed Thanet Parkway station would give a fantastic boost to Manston airport but the terminal would still grow without it, its boss has said. Charles Buchanan, chief executive of Kent International Airport, said rail links between Ramsgate and London were already much better, with high-speed journey times down to 75 minutes. A Parkway station close to the airport would cut this to around 64 minutes, although he would like to see it fall tobelow 60 minutes. But he insisted that the terminal would grow with or without the station.

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