Growth Board announces first round of projects to receive Housing and Growth Deal funding

Published: Tuesday, 20th March 2018

The Oxfordshire Growth Board has published details of the first round of infrastructure projects to receive funding in year one of the five year Oxfordshire Housing & Growth Deal, signed last month.

The Deal will deliver £215m over a five year-period to fund infrastructure and affordable housing. It helps underpin Oxfordshire’s ambition to plan and support the delivery of up to 100,000 new homes across Oxfordshire between 2011 and 2031. This is the level of housing growth as identified by the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2014, and is consistent with that planned for in existing and emerging Oxfordshire Local Plans.

Ten key projects from across the county will share around £12m worth of funding over the next year. The schemes include a feasibility study to provide a westbound bus lane linking Wolvercote to the proposed Eynsham Park and Ride site; improvements to key link roads in Carterton and Banbury; widening of the Botley Road rail bridge in Oxford and improvements to the Botley Road corridor; and upgrading Featherbed Lane, near Milton Hill to provide improved and safer access between the Didcot and Wantage areas.

In addition, the Growth Board has announced a further £20m of funding to be used in South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, Cherwell, West Oxfordshire and Oxford to support a range of other infrastructure projects. These projects are being finalised with developers and landowners before the details can be announced.

In total, around £30m will be spent on infrastructure in the first year (2018/19), with similar amounts in each of the following four years. The money will be used for detailed design work and to determine funding required from developers and other sources, or to kick start initiatives and pay for works. The new infrastructure will help support the delivery of new homes to address the county’s severe housing shortage and expected economic growth.

While the £150m infrastructure funding in the Deal does not meet the full infrastructure investment needed to support new housing in Oxfordshire, it will underpin the delivery of approximately 6,500 houses during the five year period of the Deal, and a total of up to 14,000 by 2031. It will also establish an infrastructure fund that will lever in additional investment.

All the projects receiving funding, whether announced today or still in negotiation, are included in district and city council Local Plans and in the Oxfordshire Infrastructure Strategy (OxIS), which sets outs the county’s infrastructure priorities.

The first £30m marks the start, with more projects under consideration for inclusion in the rest of the five-year programme which is now well under development.

Making today’s announcement, Councillor Bob Price, Chair of the Oxfordshire Growth Board said:

“This is a significant moment for Oxfordshire. Just last month all the districts, the city council and the county council united to seal a deal with Government, and now we are delighted to announce this first year of funding to start delivering the infrastructure residents have been calling for as we continue to prosper and grow as a county.

“We hope the project funding being announced today is the start of further investment to follow in the coming months, as we await news of the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bids submitted last September for Didcot Garden Town, West Oxfordshire and North of Oxford; not to mention further opportunities through the Government’s Marginal Viability Fund where we had five successful bids from across Oxfordshire earlier this year.”

The Oxfordshire Growth Board comprises the county’s six councils – Cherwell District Council, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council and West Oxfordshire District Council, together with representatives of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP), which includes the two universities.

Table showing first round of projects to receive Housing and Growth Deal funding

Name of project



 Estimated Y1 spend (£)

Potential total impact of Growth Deal for 5 Year Programme (£)

Full cost
of scheme (£)

A40 Western Strategic Corridor Improvements

West Oxfordshire



Year 1 Growth Deal funding will allow a feasibility study to be
undertaken, on providing a westbound bus lane on the A40 from the Duke’s Cut Canal Bridge to the proposed Eynsham Park and Ride, complementing the proposed eastbound bus lane.


This would see a congestion free route for public transport and would encourage greater use of public transport and improved journey times.


If progressed, this project would complete public transport improvements on the A40 and build on work underway for the proposed park and ride and an eastbound bus lane project, to be introduced by 2020.





Access to Carterton

West Oxfordshire

Transport improvements in this area aim to support new housing and employment as well as improve access between Carterton and RAF Brize Norton (the RAF’s largest station) and the A40/ Minster Lovell junction.


Year 1 Growth Deal funding will allow a feasibility study to be undertaken into proposed improvements to the B4477 Brize Norton Road and to enable traffic to travel west on the A40 via new west facing slip roads at the A40/Minster Lovell junction.


Road widening, capacity and safety improvements and improved cycle infrastructure will be examined, with the aim to provide a full junction interchange at the A40 to secure a dedicated route into RAF Brize Norton.




Access to Headington


Access to Headington will help reduce the impact of congestion and move people around more efficiently along the B4495, and ultimately support housing and jobs growth in Headington and beyond. 


Proposals include additional highway capacity, bus priority and new and improved cycle lanes and priority at junctions.


The Year 1 funding will allow the original project to be enhanced and is for design and construction.




Oxford-wide cycle and pedestrian routes


This project will see cycle and pedestrian access and safety improvements at various locations across the city which link housing sites to district centres and employment areas, with the aim of attracting new or inexperienced cyclists who do not want to cycle on more heavily trafficked streets.


It seeks to overcome some physical barriers currently preventing good access - including the ring road, and Cowley Branch line.


The Year 1 funding will cover planning and design work for some schemes and construction for others.




North of Oxford Corridor Routes Improvements along the A44 Woodstock Road and the A4260 Banbury Road


West Oxfordshire


This project will see measures taken along key corridors to the north of Oxford to increase sustainable trips into and out of the city, including the use of smart technology, to reduce congestion and improve journey times. This links to the proposed delivery of a new park and ride site on the A44 corridor, together with expansion of the existing Water Eaton Park and Ride site.


Funding this year will enable progression with the design work for the various measures that would be required, as identified in the corridor assessment work carried out so far. This will include measures to prioritise public transport, cycling and pedestrians along the A44 Woodstock Road corridor and the A4260 Banbury Road route, as well as the links between these corridors, such as the A4165 and Langford Lane.




Botley Road Rail Bridge


Widening Botley Road railway bridge will support the Oxford rail station development, enabling more rail lines to be provided to increase capacity through Oxford; while widening the road underneath the bridge will provide more space for cycle lanes and wider pavements.


The Year 1 funding is for design work.





South East Oxford Corridor Improvements


The project will upgrade radial and orbital routes to the south-east of the city, for public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians. Routes include Abingdon Road, Cowley Road, Iffley Road and part of the B4495.


Year 1 funding will allow a corridor study to be undertaken which will consider options for delivering bus rapid transit, and a step-change in cycle and pedestrian facilities, as well as making best use of technology.





Botley Road Corridor

Vale of White Horse

The Botley Road corridor project will see journey time improvements and a better journey experience for travellers along this key arterial route in and out of Oxford. There will be priority for buses, use smart technology, improved cycle provision and a better road condition overall. The project will support further housing and growth in Oxford city centre, Botley and along the A420 and A338 corridors.


The Year 1 funding is for design and construction.




Featherbed Lane capacity improvements and junction widening at A4130/B4017

South Oxfordshire

Upgrading Featherbed Lane and its junctions at either end will provide improved and safer access between the Didcot and Wantage areas to support growth.


Design has been undertaken ready for publication of Compulsory Purchase Orders to acquire the land needed for road widening. Year 1 Growth Board funding will be used for evidence to support the Orders and any subsequent public inquiry. 




Tramway Road (Banbury)


Turning Tramway Road into a link road for buses and taxis and providing replacement access into the station’s west car park will provide bus connection with the railway station, improve bus journeys into the town centre for existing residents and residents living in the new developments to the south of the town, and provide some relief to the Bridge Street junction and a quality access road into the Canalside redevelopment area. 


Funding in year 1 will enable design work to be progressed on the bus and taxi link, access into the car park, improved footpaths and a signalised junction onto Swan Close Road. 










Scheme advancement (various)

South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse, Cherwell, West Oxfordshire and Oxford  

Funding for projects that are currently being finalised with developers and landowners before the details are announced.





Grand total year 1 funding






Grand total value