SALISBURY will miss out on £1.3m of funding, which will now be transferred to a Cyber Centre project in Chippenham.

It comes as MP for Salisbury John Glen strongly urged for the funding to remain in place.

He argued the money was for projects linked to, but separate from, the wider People Friendly Streets plan of low traffic measures in Salisbury.

These included improvements for car parks and cycling access.

But in documents published ahead of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) board meeting next Thursday (January 28), a new destination for the funding has been revealed.

The documents say the board is "recommended to note the decision of Wiltshire Council, the scheme promoter for People Friendly Salisbury, to suspend indefinitely the implementation of the project and not draw down the allocated funding of £1.3m".

As a result, it has agreed that "funding diverted from the People Friendly Salisbury project is transferred to the Growing Places Infrastructure Fund with the intended use to support the Business Cyber Centre project".

The People Friendly Salisbury scheme is managed by Wiltshire Council and the full business case received support from the Board in September 2020, resulting in an allocation of £1.3m in funding towards the overall cost of £3,105,000.

The pack says that currently, Wiltshire Council has incurred costs of £552,916 and that the council has spent £393,116 "at risk pending the finalisation of the funding agreement with the SWLEP for £1.3m".

The council has also accessed £159,800 from a grant of £1.1m authorised by the SWLEP Board in the aftermath of the Novichok attack in Salisbury.

It adds that local support for the 'people friendly' traffic measures from stakeholders "waned" between September and November 2020, resulting in Wiltshire Council’s decision to suspend the scheme indefinitely.

No activity or spending on the scheme has occurred since that decision.

Salisbury City Council then voted to back the scheme in at an Extraordinary Full Council meeting.

The SWLEP says this was after the scheme was indefinitely suspended, and the City Council’s latest position will be taken into account when the scheme is reintroduced, adding "both Wiltshire and Salisbury City Council are keen to work together on re-introducing a refreshed scheme".

This means SWLEP funding would not be available as the SWLEP is required by central government to have all funding accounted for by March 31.

Earlier this week, leader of Wiltshire Council Philip Whitehead said the business cases proposed to the SWLEP are signed off as a whole, and that you cannot then implement part of a proposal and spend LEP money, in his view.

CEO of the SWLEP Paddy Bradley said that although Atkins wrote in their report that the complimentary measures could be implemented independently of the ETRO, the "objective of the business case was to implement both aspects and this is what the Board approved".

He added: "Implementing only part would be against the principles of our decision-making process and would set a precedent, which would put at risk the integrity of the Board’s role in adhering to the principles of good governance".

MP for Salisbury John Glen called the decision "very regrettable". 

He said: "After the business case for People Friendly Salisbury repeatedly and explicitly stated that funding for complementary measures was not dependent on the ETRO, it is very regrettable that it now turns out this proved to be incorrect. 

"After the pandemic, I look forward to working with all stakeholders to build consensus around implementing a new People Friendly Streets project which commands wider support from local residents.”

The SOS - Save Our Salisbury group, which co-ordinated opposition to the Low Traffic Zone, accused Wiltshire and the SWLEP of trying to punish Salisbury residents and businesses for objecting to the scheme.

A spokesman said: "This is what happens when you don't do as you're told by Wiltshire Council and their allies.

"It's a kick in the teeth for our citizens. There are elections coming up, and Salisbury needs a strong independent council, free of party politics. It needs people representing all sectors of the community who will work together constructively and campaign to get a better deal for the city.”

To read the documents in full, go to