A Reading organisation responsible for investing millions in new train stations and bus routes and providing training opportunities is set to cease operations next year.

The Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was founded in 2011 to stimulate economic growth and development in the county,  replacing regional development agencies which existed from 1998 to 2012.

Since then, the LEP has secured £204 million in capital investments which was spent on 97 Berkshire projects.

Projects included the upgrade of seven train stations, the creation of Green Park Station, which opened this May, and assisting in delivering the Coppid Beech Park & Ride, improvements to Bracknell Bus Station and the South Wokingham Distributor Road.

For train stations in particular, it invested £4 million at Theale station, £3.1 million for Reading West station and a £3.75 million upgrade to Maidenhead station.

READ MORE: Town's first new station in 116 years opens being 22 years in the making

These projects were funded by winning government grant bids and attracting a total of £125 million in private investment.

The LEP also assisted with the installation of superfast broadband across Berkshire and the installation of full-fibre broadband at 60 schools.

The functions of LEPs have gone from securing government investment in infrastructure projects through growth deals to improving workforce skills and training.

That change came about as the government began allocating grant funding to individual councils to make improvements rather than LEPs.

The LEP is currently delivering a £1.5 million skills bootcamps programme to help over 300 people to meet skills needs.

READ MORE: Berkshire organisation that funded station upgrades and other schemes shifts focus

But now the government has decided to end core grant funding by the end of March 2024, effectively ending the organisations.

Alison Webster, Chief Executive at Berkshire LEP said: “We have been planning for this outcome for over 12 months, which puts us in a favourable position for continuing business as usual.

“We are continuing to successfully deliver and retain our high-quality programmes, such as the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), Berkshire Growth Hub and Skills Bootcamps.

“We are committed to working with our six Berkshire Local Authority partners to ensure a smooth and swift transfer of responsibility to achieve the best outcomes for the Berkshire economy and businesses.”

Reading Chronicle: Berkshire LEP representatives at UKREiiF - The UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum. Credit: Berkshire LEPBerkshire LEP representatives at UKREiiF - The UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum. Credit: Berkshire LEP

The core functions of the Berkshire LEP will be transferred to the six local councils from April 1, 2024.

It is not clear what will happen to the 23 people who work at the LEP.

Chief executive Webster said: “We look forward to working closely with our delivery partners and Local Authorities during this period of transition as the government embarks on its pathway to greater local devolution.

“This is an exciting time for Berkshire LEP and look forward to our future in providing leadership for a connected, collaborative, skilled Berkshire economy in order to deliver growth in our area which is one of the UK’s economic powerhouses”.