Wantange and Grove Campaign Group (WAGCG)
Job Prospects

5500 homes means a need for 8000+ jobs.

We currently have 122 people claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Wantage and Grove. Figures from the Office of National Statistics for December 2013.

Investment in business growth in Oxfordshire 30 January 2014

The announcement of the Oxford and Oxfordshire City Deal means that around £55.5 million of government funding can now be controlled locally to boost innovation and business growth, create jobs and help secure Oxfordshire's place as a world leader in technology, knowledge and expertise. Ultimately deal is expected to be worth over £1.2 billion when private sector investment is taken into account.
Funding will support a raft of measures to support business, with skills training, transport infrastructure and accelerated building of new 7,000 new houses to back up ambitious expansion plans for the county. For details see theCounty Council website.
We expect that this includes the £7m announced in December!


Government puts £7m towards Harwell innovation hub. 11 December 2013, universities and science minister David Willetts announced that the Government would contribute £7m towards the open innovation hub at Harwell Oxford, Didcot. Mr Willetts’ visit also marked the start of work on Harwell’s European Space Agency’s European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications, to be completed by 2015. Mr Willetts said last week: “I have high hopes that this centre will allow us to maximise the potential of space for future economic growth.”

About 750 jobs could be created under plans to build a distribution warehouse processing internet shopping orders. Tesco wants to build the centre on three hectares of land at Milton Hill with plans for office space later. This application was granted in September 2013 but no work has started yet. It could be much needed jobs for the Vale - still 8 miles from Wantage but a start.

8 November 2013 - 5,500 New Jobs on the way at Milton Park - See the Oxford Mail
As part of a planned ten-year expansion of Milton Park, which would see it increase in size by almost 50 per cent, bosses are hoping to bring in companies from all over the world. There are currently more than 200 companies at the business park near Didcot, with 7,000 employees. Ok - I'm not sure how 50% of 7000 employees is 5,500 jobs and this is close to the thousands of new homes in Didcot but there must be some of these people who would buy homes in Wantage.

Up to 100 job losses at a top forensic laboratory after "drastic cuts" in police budgets, according to the Oxford Timeson 11 March 2013. Bosses at LGC Forensics are now in consultation with half the 200-strong workforce based at Culham

800 job losses at Honda in Swindon were announced in January. Swindon has lost 9000 jobs between 1998-2010.

The District Council state that:

Up to 16,000 new jobs by 2030 are forecast across the Science Vale UK from Wantage and Grove to Didcot. Many of these jobs will be created at Harwell, Milton Park and Culham.
In 2011 several sites at Harwell and Milton Park were granted Enterprise Zone status which will help to counter the impact that current economic conditions have had on job creation. The formation of an Enterprise Zone is expected to bring about a step change in demand for space by businesses resulting in 8,400 direct jobs at the Enterprise Zone by 2015/16."

These thousands of jobs have not yet materialised. Offices are being built at Milton Park and outline planning permission on the brownfield site at Milton Hill was renewed in 2011 but nothing further.

There are also 3300 homes being built at Great Western Park between Harwell and Didcot, 275 homes being built at Chestnut Fields near the Harwell Campus and plans to redevelop South Drive, Harwell creating 120 new homes. This is a total of 3700 homes requiring another 5000+ jobs.

As reported in the Oxford Mail, it is estimated that in its 1st year (to August 2012), the Science Vale UK has created more than 300 new jobs. This is a start but a long way from the 16,000.

Obviously 9300 homes means new schools, shops etc. which will also create some employment but there are also new homes being built at Didcot, Kingston Bagpuize, Faringdon, Oxford and Swindon.

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