A NEW ministerial champion has been appointed for Salisbury after the nerve agent attack last year to help the city "continue to thrive".

Business Minister Lord Henley will provide a single point of contact in the Government for local leaders.

Lord Henley has today been meeting with Wiltshire Council, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) and local businesses while seeing recovery efforts first-hand as well as representatives from the South Wiltshire Recovery Coordinating Group.

He said: “As the newly appointed Ministerial Champion for Salisbury I look forward to supporting efforts to ensure this great Cathedral city of commerce, culture and character continues to thrive.

“As Salisbury gets back to business, the Government is working hand-in-hand with local leaders to deliver an ambitious local Industrial Strategy for the area, ensuring Salisbury not only recovers, but leads the way in some of the industries of the future.”

Last year the Government announced more than £7.5 million of funding to boost businesses, tourism and support the local community as a result of the incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury.

Wider Government investment in the SWLEP area includes nearly £170 million worth of Growth Deals, supporting 26 projects and programmes including skills support at Wiltshire College, Salisbury and the redevelopment of central Salisbury.

Alistair Cunningham, the chairman of the South Wiltshire Recovery Coordinating Group, said: “We welcome Lord Henley to South Wiltshire and are pleased to have the continued support from central government in helping Salisbury and South Wiltshire to move forward.

“South Wiltshire is looking to the future, and working closely with the government will deliver economic regeneration and cultural improvements to the city.

“A long-term programme has been developed to re-position Salisbury and improve the offer for residents, visitors and tourists.”

The ministerial champion's two-day visit to the area continues into tomorrow. He is due to meet representatives from The Tintometer and visit Porton Down Science Park where he will hear about the future plans for the park. He will then meet with Wiltshire Council and the SWLEP to discuss the local industrial strategy to boost growth across the region.