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Improved M5 junction is 'critical ingredient' in East Devon development plans
A scheme which has made vital road improvements to junction 29 of the M5 will have its official unveiling next week.
Transport minister Norman Baker will be guest of honour at an opening event at the Honiton turn-off on Tuesday, January 8.
The £10.95 million project to upgrade the junction, which began in May 2011, has created a link road to the old A30 at Blackhorse, which includes new junctions to the Exeter Science Park development.
It has been led by Devon County Council in partnership with Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council and the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point Team.
The improvement is part of a package of measures to generate growth in the area, with related projects including the Exeter Science Park, Skypark business development and the new community at Cranbrook.
The junction complements the successful installation of Redhayes Bridge over the M5, which was also opened by the Minister last July. Funding was made available through the Department for Transport last year following the Comprehensive Spending Review and a subsequent final funding bid by Devon County Council.
Will Mumford, chairman of the Growth Point Board and Devon County Council's cabinet member for economic regeneration and strategic planning, said: "The completion of these works opens up access to the Exeter and East Devon Growth Point and is one of the many projects being delivered as a result of the public and private sector Growth Point Partnership.
"It forms part of the transport package for the Growth Point that will ensure that the transport system supports strategic development which will drive economic growth and prosperity in Devon. The scheme provides access to the new community of Cranbrook and to Skypark, which has the potential to provide up to 500 jobs. A further 3,500 jobs are also expected at the Exeter Science Park."
Councillor Paul Diviani, leader of East Devon District Council, added: "I am delighted to see this junction fully open. From day one this scheme has been a critical ingredient in the development of the west end of East Devon.
"We fought hard along with our partners to get the funding for this junction because it will enable all the developments of Skypark, Cranbrook, and Science Park to be able to reach their full capacity and for us to fulfil our aspirations to deliver jobs and homes together in the most sustainable manner."