I have worked hard every day as your MP to bring hundreds of millions of pounds from the Government into Harlow to build an even better Harlow. That means regenerating our town and creating thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships for local residents.
Even before my time as MP, I campaigned for a new junction off the M11 to reduce traffic across the town and bring further investment into Harlow. Alongside our Conservative Councillors and the then Deputy Leader of Essex Council, Cllr Kevin Bentley, I lobbied the Government to give us the new junction we so desperately needed - raising it in Parliament on dozens of occasions.
I was delighted when the Transport Secretary approved the £81 million project in 2016. Construction work was delivered at pace and finished ahead of schedule with the new junction opening in June 2022. This has increased investment into our town, reduced congestion and made everyday journeys in Harlow easier as the town is not clogged up when there is an issue on the M11 and residents have two entrances/exits rather than just one.
£50 million Harlow Investment Fund
I have worked very hard to secure huge investment specifically to regenerate our town centre. I would like to see the town completely transformed to restore pride and bring new businesses, jobs and homes.
Thanks to the work of our Conservative County Councillors, Essex County Council recently pledged £5 million towards a new Harlow Investment Fund. Other investors are expected to be Homes England, Places for People (developer of Gilston Villages) and Harlow District Council, to create a fund of up to £50million.
The fund is designed to help unlock key sites in the town centre to facilitate wider regeneration and comes in addition to many other pots of money including the Towns Fund and Getting Building Fund.
£23.7 Million New Town Deal announcement
In Parliament, I had numerous meetings with Government Ministers and campaigned hard for Harlow to be included in the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund. This was a once in a generation opportunity to bid for up to £25 million for specific regeneration projects.
I called repeatedly for Harlow’s bid to include the regeneration of Bush Fair and The Stow, a redevelopment of the bus terminal in Terminus Street and the rejuvenation of Broad Walk.
I was able to secure £1 million to kickstart this work and will do everything possible to ensure that we use this opportunity to build an even better future for our community.
In June 2021, the Government announced that we had been successful with a £23.7 million Town Deal announced, which you can read about here. This will truly transform Harlow and shows how we are building an even better Harlow.
In my first term as MP, I pressed for Harlow to be designated as an Enterprise Zone because I passionately believed it would create thousands of local jobs. In 2011, Harlow was selected as a flagship Enterprise Zone meaning that local businesses could benefit from lower business rates, access to superfast broadband and streamlined planning permission to boost local infrastructure.
The Enterprise Zone has been a roaring success attracting some incredible businesses such as Raytheon, Pearson, UK Health Security Agency, Arrow Electronics and Kao Data.
Kao Park wite upon which fibre optic technology was invented by Sir Charles Kao, is home to the UK's biggest supercomputer, Cambridge 1, as well as many other incredible data technologies.
Alongside our brand new hospital, the Harlow Innovation Park is putting Harlow on the map as the health-science capital of the UK. The multi-million pound site is already being supported by high-profile occupiers including Public Health England, Pearson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Arrow Electronics and Raytheon.
The high tech, state of the art campus is set to be finished in early 2021 and will create even more high-skilled jobs for Harlow residents and bring yet further investment into Harlow.
It will also include Britain’s most powerful supercomputer. It will provide artificial intelligence to support medical research, including the development of vaccines.
£6 million Getting Building Fund
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, I have lobbied the Government to invest further in Harlow to kickstart our local economy. This includes a £6 million investment to create 1,600 local jobs and apprenticeships over the next 18 months as part of three major regeneration projects.
First, Harlow College will undergo a £1.5 million remodelling to support new T-Level qualifications and create over 1,000 new apprenticeships.
Second, Harlow’s town centre library will be redeveloped with £1 million to create a modern skills and learning hub in the heart of the town centre and, aligning with Harlow College, will offer training and skills courses to local residents. It will also create 39 new jobs and safeguard 50 current jobs.
Third, £3.56 million is being invested to complete the Harlow Science Park and create more local jobs.
Harlow homes for Harlow people
I passionately believe in Harlow homes for Harlow people. That means quality housing for Harlow residents and I have worked tirelessly in Parliament to ensure that Labour Councils in London can no longer send their residents to office block conversions such as Terminus House. I have managed to secure changes to legislation not just to stop this happening, but also to ensure that new developments under Permitted Development Rights have minimum space standards and office blocks in areas such as Templefields can no longer be converted into flats.
I have also lobbied the Government constantly for more funding to build new Harlow homes. The Government recently announced the biggest house building project for a generation and alongside Harlow’s Conservative Councillors, I am lobbying Harlow Council to build the Council homes that Harlow families need.