Galliford Try has been awarded the contract to build the major new road, which will bypass the existing A380 between Newton Abbot and Torbay, and is expected to lead to the creation of nearly 8,000 jobs in South Devon and a further 3,600 in Torbay. 750 of these jobs would be in tourism, which is one of Torbay’s biggest sectors at 17% - twice the national average.
Independent research indicates that every £1 invested into the construction of the bypass will produce a £9 stimulus to the South Devon economy, bringing the region’s economy back into line with more prosperous areas. As well as providing opportunities for growth, it is also expected to make the South Devon and Torbay economy more resilient in future.
The announcement of the contract comes after the full business case was approved last week (8 May).
The 5.5km dual carriageway, which will bypass Kingskerswell, has been awarded £76.4 million toward the £110 million cost by the Government. Devon County Council and Torbay Council have committed £33 million from their budgets towards the scheme costs and Teignbridge District Council will contribute a further £500,000.
Mayor of Torbay Gordon Oliver said: "I would like to express my congratulations to Galliford Try on winning the contract. They have a huge amount of experience in delivering large scale projects and I am very pleased to be working with them. We will now be working closely with them on the final designs and during the construction phase to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum.
"It brings to an end years of hard work and commitment by the people of Torbay to whom I would like to extend my appreciation and thanks. It is the key that unlocks the door to the future prospects of the Bay.
"It is incredibly difficult in these times to gain government support and finance for such a project, but it does show that at last the coalition government has acknowledged our long term requests and ambitions and that they do support our future prosperity."
Devon County Council Leader John Hart said: "I am very pleased we've been able to award this contract for the South Devon Link Road. This is a key milestone in the delivery of the project.
"We'll begin work shortly and we are looking forward to reaping the huge benefits that the link road will bring for the whole of South Devon - particularly the major boost it will bring for the economy and job creation."
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "I am very pleased to see the contract awarded. This is another step towards achieving a major infrastructure project in Devon which will bring much needed social and economic benefits to the area.
"I am confident residents and commuters will see a marked improvement in journey times, a reduction in congestion as well as significant improvements to air quality. I look forward to seeing the construction begin."
Greg Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Galliford Try, said: "We are delighted to be awarded this landmark scheme, which is set to benefit thousands of local motorists, as well as the many tourists who travel to this popular area from further afield each year.
"As a local man myself, I am particularly proud to be involved in such a prestigious project. We understand how important this landmark new bypass is to local people in Devon and we are keen to ensure the social and economic benefits of the project are secured locally. We will be aiming to work with a number of local suppliers, as well as employing local apprentices and graduate trainees to work with us - proving a strong foundation to build their future careers in the industry."
Mr Fitzgerald added: "Our business has long-established roots in the south west, with our regional headquarters in Newton Abbot. From this base, we have been delivering quality housing developments right across the region.
"Throughout the duration of this scheme we will be keeping local people up-to-date as much as possible about progress of the works and hope they enjoy seeing the new link road take shape over the coming months."
It is predicted that the new road will remove 95% of traffic away from Kingskerswell, restoring and revitalising the village.
Work is due to begin in the autumn and to be completed by December 2015.