Contracts have now been signed and completed to release £171m of government funding for the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town (HGGT) project.
The original bid was led by Hertfordshire County Council on behalf of local authority partners Essex County Council, East Herts, Epping Forest and Harlow District Councils, the Harlow Gilston Garden Town under the Harlow Gilston Garden Town Partnership, supported by leading affordable homes-led placemaker, Places for People.
The successful bid was confirmed in the 2020 budget, with funding from Homes England and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, under the Housing Investment Grant.
This investment shows the government’s confidence in Hertfordshire County Council’s ability to build the infrastructure needed to support new homes and growth. The partnership can now start to deliver on its commitments of 20,000 new homes across the Garden Town by 2040, including 10,000 new homes in the Gilston Area Allocation with at least 3,000 in place by 2033, together with employment and new community facilities.
Mark Kemp, Hertfordshire County Council’s Director of Environment & Infrastructure said: “We are delighted to have completed the contracts for this government funding of key infrastructure for Harlow Gilston Garden Town. The partnership between central and local government, Homes England, Places for People and the Garden Town speaks to the commitment to building back better and delivering the ambitions and visons we all set out for Harlow Gilston.”
Sophie White, Homes England’s Director of Infrastructure Grants, said: “We are committed to working with ambitious local authority partners seeking to meet their local housing needs through delivery of key infrastructure. Our multimillion-pound funding will provide strategic transport infrastructure for the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, unlocking 10,000 new homes and allowing Hertfordshire County Council and its strategic and delivery partners to deliver the vision for the new Garden Town.”
An Essex County Council Spokesperson said: “This agreement and subsequent funding will help deliver vital infrastructure for local residents and businesses, enabling the proposed housing developments and boosting jobs and growth.
“We have always been bold in our ambitions to enable sustainable growth in Essex, and this project will help to ensure there is vital infrastructure in place to support housing and economic growth in this area. I would like to thank Homes England, Hertfordshire County Council and all partners involved. This is another big step for major sustainable infrastructure in our county, in particular in Harlow.”
Scott Black, Group Executive Director – Developments, Places for People, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Hertfordshire County Council and other key stakeholders to secure this important funding for the early delivery of key transport and community infrastructure that is required to facilitate the new community at Harlow Gilston Garden Town.
“We will continue to work with the council, Homes England and our other local authority partners to deliver much needed private and affordable homes for local people, together with the supporting facilities required to ensure the new community will thrive over time and become a new garden town we can all be proud to be associated with.”
Richard Cassidy, Chief Executive at East Herts District Council said “We are pleased that by working with key partners this important milestone has been achieved. The Gilston area development forms a key part of the housing delivery strategy for East Herts and securing this funding will ensure that the growth is supported by the right level of infrastructure.”
Brian Keane, Chief Executive of Harlow Council, said “Harlow Council has been pleased to support the work led by Hertfordshire County Council in securing the HIG funding. As Harlow sits at the centre of the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town we have a strong vested interest in ensuring that there is high quality infrastructure in place and we are delighted that this contract has now been signed which will help to ensure that this becomes a reality.”
A Spokesperson for Epping Forest District Council said: “This commitment from the Government to unlock and accelerate much needed growth through the delivery of vital infrastructure is a fantastic step towards realising the Harlow and Gilston Garden Town vision. We are proud to be working within a partnership centred around an ambition for the Garden Town to be a joyful and equitable place to live with sociable streets, sustainable transport, generous green spaces, and high-quality homes; at the forefront of innovation, enterprise, and health. This funding is crucial to ensuring there is the right infrastructure in place from the start to support this vision.”
A Harlow & Gilston Garden Town spokesperson said: “The Garden Town would like to thank Hertfordshire County Council for successfully realising this investment on behalf of the Garden Town partner Councils and to thank Essex County Council for their commitment to partnership working with Hertfordshire.
“This significant and timely Government backed £171m investment, for new and enhanced infrastructure, is exactly the investment we need to help reopen our post lock down economies and start the delivery of a thriving and functioning Garden Town.”
Click here to find out more about the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town project.