Brick laying

The Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board has approved £11.5m for the first four projects to be ‘unlocked' through the Growing Places Fund.

The projects to benefit from funding are Watford Health Campus, Maylands Gateway and Spencer's Park in Hemel Hempstead and Elstree Studios in Borehamwood.

The projects will generate a combined total of over 4,000 new jobs and 2,000 new homes by the time all phases are completed. Work on some of the schemes is due to start within the next year.

More than £85m of private sector investment will be leveraged as a result of this commitment, which will boost economic growth across the county.

For Elstree Studios, owned by Hertsmere Borough Council, the £2m funding will mean new film and television production facilities can be built, alongside some business premises.

In Maylands Business Park, the £3.5m funding will kick-start two stalled sites to create a combination of new business units and homes.

At Watford Health Campus, the £6m funding will support infrastructure to improve access to the site, where there will be a new hospital, housing, offices, a hotel, a business park and green spaces for the local community.

There will be a further round of applications where partners will be invited to submit projects to the LEP for the remaining pot of money.

John Gourd, of Johnson Matthey and Chair of the Hertfordshire LEP, said: "We are delighted to be able to kick-start these projects that have stalled due to the economic downturn.

"All of the successful bids have the ability to generate funds that can then be invested in other projects across Hertfordshire.

"We will be initiating a further round of applications where partners will be invited to bid for the remaining money."