The West of England was chosen as one of the first places in the
country to test out new 5G technology, a trial that has now been
extended. Outside of technology, the Combined Authority has also
allocated a significant amount of money to tackling challenges of
congestion and poor air quality. Of particular note is the creation of a
Low Carbon Challenge Fund, with the aims of supporting community
energy projects and helping SMEs improve their energy efficiency.
The West of England has also led the way nationally in aligning
strategic transport and spatial plans. The Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) was
the first such joint planning approach in the UK – considering the
impact that development in one area has across council boundaries.
The JSP has the aim of delivering 105,000 homes of all types,
including affordable, across the region by 2036, linked to necessary
transport infrastructure as set out in the Joint Local Transport Plan.
The West of England has also submitted an ambitious Housing
Infrastructure Fund Bid to bring about major improvements to
Temple Meads Station and the A4 strategic growth corridor (between
Temple Meads and Keynsham).
Finally, a West of England Joint Assets Board (JAB) has also been
established, which aims to bring together senior leaders from the
public sector through the region, including education, emergency
services, councils, NHS and central government.