A ground-breaking ceremony has marked the start of work on the second phase of the Grantham Southern Relief Road.

County councillors, Highways England, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and others have joined together to officially break ground ahead of the start of work on the second phase of the Grantham Southern Relief Road.

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP is contributing £28 million from the Government's Growth Deal towards the overall project cost of £80 million.

Ursula Lidbetter OBE, Chair of the LEP, said: “The Grantham Southern Relief Road will form a strategic growth corridor around a route joining the A1 to the A52 east of Grantham. It will secure significant housing and employment opportunities for South Kesteven, unlock nearly £1 billion of sustainable growth and cement Grantham’s position as a key sub-regional destination.

“The Greater Lincolnshire LEP is pleased to be contributing £28m of Growth Deal funding to this transformational scheme, which will undoubtedly improve the environment, air quality and visitor experience in Grantham town centre.”

Minister of State for Local Growth, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “This Government is committed to turbo-charging economic growth across the whole of the Midlands Engine and the wider country, ensuring every community has the support and investment it needs to flourish.

“I am pleased to see work well under way on Grantham’s Southern Relief Road thanks to £28 million of investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. 

“This major project, along with Spitalgate Heath Garden Village, will improve connectivity and reduce journey times while unlocking new homes and infrastructure to support the region’s rapid development.”

Councillor Richard Davies, Executive Member for Highways at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Despite the long road getting to today, construction of the next section of Grantham's southern relief road is now under way.

"This is a massive project, and we look forward to working alongside Galliford Try and Highways England over the next two years as we build a massive bridged underpass that connects the B1174 to the A1.

"Galliford Try has been doing a fantastic job overseeing construction of the new Lincoln Eastern Bypass, and we're confident that they'll do just as good a job in Grantham.

"Once the whole relief road is complete, it will not only reduce congestion and improve journey times in and around Grantham, but it will also boost the local economy by opening the door to more homes, jobs opportunities and community facilities."

South Kesteven District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, Cllr Nick Robins, said: “The relief road is a major factor in the development of Grantham and we are delighted to see that this is now really moving forward.

“The southern relief road will take a significant volume of traffic, including HGVs, out of the town centre and open up fantastic opportunities for us to improve the Grantham environment as part of our growth agenda.

“There are ambitious plans for the south of Grantham, including the Spitalgate Heath garden village development and the Rioja designer outlet village. The relief road is critical to both - and the future of the whole town.”

The second phase of the scheme, which will join the B1174 to the A1 trunk road via a grade-separated junction, is expected to take approximately 18 months to construct.

Construction of the third and final phase of the relief road, which will link the A52 at Somerby Hill to the new roundabout off the B1174, will begin shortly after the start of phase two and is expected to take approximately three years to complete.

When built, the Grantham Southern Relief Road wills stretch for 3.5km, linking the A52 at Somerby Hill to the A1.

The project is being led by Lincolnshire County Council and supported by South Kesteven District Council, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, Highways England, Homes and Communities Agency and local businesses.

For more information, visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/gsrr.