A vital link road which will connect the New Eastern Villages with Commonhead roundabout has received a major funding boost from the Government.

Swindon Borough Council has been awarded £19m from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to build the road from Commonhead roundabout to the north of Wanborough Road where it will link into residential development being promoted by developers.

The scheme has already been allocated £11.6m in funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund via Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), subject to a final business case being approved.

The two-way single carriageway will be 1.5 miles long and is being designed to avoid known environmental constraints including areas of archaeological interest.

Design options for the new road have been assessed and been subject to public consultation. The need for traffic calming in surrounding villages will continue to be assessed as development proposals come forward and measures will be put in place to safeguard wildlife, particularly endangered species, as part of the road crosses a flood zone.

Work on the new road will start next year and is due to be completed in the summer of 2021.

The 8,000-home New Eastern Villages, east of the A419, is one of the largest planned green field developments in the country and will create high quality communities via a series of linked villages.

The funding announcement for the Southern Connector Road comes just a few weeks after the Department for Transport allocated £22.5m to improvements to the nearby White Hart roundabout, which will also support the New Eastern Villages development and improve journey times on the A420.

The junction upgrade will increase capacity at the roundabout and see the creation of a new northbound slip road, the widening of the southbound slip road, an increase in the number of lanes and the installation of traffic signals.

Work is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “This latest funding for the Southern Connector Road is a major boost for the New Eastern Villages as we continue with our plans to build the infrastructure needed for this important development.

“The Southern Connector Road will create an important access into the new communities that will be built over the coming years. The funding is yet another endorsement from the Government of our ambitious plans for Swindon’s growth.”