December 21 2014 Latest news:
Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Communities minister and Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis today said an extra £3m funding boost for the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft enterprise zone will help build a stronger economy for the two areas.
Gorleston’s Beacon Park was one of four areas to receive the cash - part of a £23m funding announcement for enterprise zones including Bristol, Manchester, and Leicestershire.
The new money, which was announced by local growth minister Kris Hopkins, will be used to fund essential road, utility line and building construction vital for increasing business opportunities at enterprise zone sites.
At the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft enterprise zone, it will deliver 5700sqm of speculative office and industrial units, as well as road and utilities for Beacon Park.
In the wake of the recent local and european election results and the strong showing of UKIP, Great Yarmouth could be a key battleground in next year’s general election.
Unemplopyment has dropped 27pc in Great Yarmouth and the enterprise zone has enjoyed support from both Conservatives and Labour, and with both parties facing a UKIP challenge in the town, strategists may well be hoping that positive economic news for the town could help nullify that threat.
Mr Lewis said the funding showed “the government is really championing an area like Great Yarmouth”.
“The energy industry and supply chain is growing very fast and to keep that going we need to have the infrastructure in place to grow,” he said.
He said the enterprise zones were a great incubator for smaller and medium-sized businesses which needed help to get up and running.
“The enterprise zone is helping Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft to become the best in the business for offshore energy bringing new jobs to the area,” he said.
“This £3m cash boost is part our long term economic plan that is helping build a stronger Great Yarmouth economy by giving the zone the foundations it needs to expand its business reach.”
Beacon Park enterprise zone site already has six businesses up and running, including global offshore manufacturing firm NOV Hydra-Rig, Virgin Atlantic Flightstore, ElectroTech, Diesel Power (East Anglia) Ltd, Nexus engineering training centre and MacLean Electrical.
The Enterprise Zone, which is part of the East of England Energy Zone, is based across six sites in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth and provides a range of benefits for energy-related businesses to help them grow, including: a discount on business rates of up to £275,000; simplified planning; and super-fast broadband
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia local enterprise partnership, which set up the enterprise zone, said: “This announcement further bolsters this region’s reputation as an unrivalled energy centre. In the two years since the Enterprise Zone has been created nine companies have opened up businesses there and over 450 jobs have been created.
George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk County Council said: “It is my hope that this announcement marks a new dawn of prosperity and investment in Great Yarmouth, a town which has always done its best to meet every new challenge. In terms of the energy sector, what is good for Great Yarmouth is good for the whole of East Anglia.”
Question marks surround the fate of several development projects in and around King’s Lynn after the developers behind the project went into administration.