Announcement could mean a boost for business in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, fire minister. Picture: James Bass. Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, fire minister. Picture: James Bass.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
6:30 AM

The Government has today announced it is giving a potential “shot in the arm for growth and jobs” to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

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Waveney MP Peter Aldous.
February 2014.

Picture: James Bass

Waveney MP Peter Aldous. February 2014. Picture: James Bass

Business Minister Michael Fallon confirmed both coastal towns had won Assisted Area status, making them able to bid for extra European funding and tax breaks to aid growth.

It was announced in December that both towns were on a draft map for the scheme, which the Government hopes will help regeneration.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis, who campaigned for the status with Waveney MP Peter Aldous, said: “It’s really good news. It gives us an edge over other areas and puts us on a level playing field with our competitors who already have Assisted Area status, particularly in the north east.”

He said it was especially good news for the energy industry.

“Michael Fallon came up to Great Yarmouth and the local business community pitched to him directly,” said Mr Lewis.

“Peter Aldous and I have been writing to him and lobbying him in Westminster.”

Assisted Area status makes businesses eligible to apply for regional aid - offered as capital investment for businesses in less prosperous local economies.

Mr Fallon said: “Assisted Area status can be a shot in the arm for growth and jobs across the UK. It makes local businesses eligible to bid for additional funding and support that can help them to create jobs, invest in new premises or machinery, develop and grow.

“We listened carefully to local groups to identify places where regional aid can have the biggest impact and help to rebalance the economy. The regeneration of a range of industrial centres, coastal and urban areas has been given a boost today.”

The Assisted Areas map is still subject to approval by the European Commission, and is due to take effect on July 1.

Will your business be affected by Assisted Area Status? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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