LOCAL authorities in Cambridgeshire have asked the Government for a further \u00A380million in grants towards the estimated \u00A34billion infrastructure improvements needed to support 73,000 extra homes in the area by 2021. The bid for funding support from 2009 to 2011 has been submitted by Cambridgeshire Horizons, the company set up by councils and other economic development bodies to deliver the roads, sewers, schools, water supplies and so on that people living in the new homes will need. The bid outlines the importance of increasing funding for Cambridgeshire's Rolling Fund, which allows public money to be used to deliver key facilities upfront, with the public funds being repaid by developers once houses are sold. This approach makes new settlements more pleasant to live in for early residents, Horizons said. A decision is expected before Christmas. The priority projects outlined in the bid include improving countryside access and green spaces, additional transport infrastructure, renewable energy, water studies, new community facilities, and other community development projects. Horizons chief executive Alex Plant said: "This funding is vital to help us deliver sustainable new communities across the county with all of the facilities and infrastructure they need to flourish. "Using public money imaginatively is particularly important in the more difficult housing market we now face, if we are to maintain the pace of progress we need. It remains critical for us to deliver more homes, including affordable homes, for people in need. Additional housing and infrastructure is also essential to maintain economic prosperity. "Our bid reflects a wide range of projects from all over the county that will improve the quality of life of both future and existing residents. We look forward to a positive response from Government." In 2008\/09 Cambridgeshire was awarded the just under \u00A315 million from the first year of the Housing Growth Fund, the largest award of its kind in the country. The money has already been put towards a number of projects, including research into the use of renewable energy at Northstowe, improvements to Grafham Water Centre, a range of projects to support growth in Cambridgeshire's market towns, including \u00A31.3million for eco-friendly housing in Hartford, and measures to support green travel, including the cycleway alongside the Cambridgeshire Guided Busway.