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Grant Thornton: Collaboration and diversity are key for our economic future

PUBLISHED: 18:00 28 February 2017

Joanne Price of Grant Thornton.

Joanne Price of Grant Thornton.

Grant Thorton

Now, more than ever, we need to create an economy that works for everyone.

To thrive outside the EU, the UK needs to come together. Our society needs to be more cohesive, our economy more inclusive and our organisations more representative.

At Grant Thornton we have a clear purpose: to shape a vibrant economy that will accelerate growth across Norfolk, East Anglia and the UK as a whole.

We believe that by getting our people, businesses, cities and communities working together, we can stimulate ideas and actions that will help realise the region’s untapped potential, generating a more progressive and productive economy to benefit all.

Our recent Vibrant Economy Index research, which compares the 324 local authorities in England across a range of factors, showed Norfolk scored most highly in the areas of “prosperity”, and also “resilience and sustainability”. However, “inclusion and equality” and “dynamism and opportunity” – a measure of entrepreneurship and innovation – scores were relatively low.

Norfolk has much to be proud of and is a great place to work and live. We have many strengths to build on from culture and heritage to ambitious entrepreneurial businesses and innovative places to work such as Whitespace Norwich and Hethel Innovation.

But we think there’s more we can achieve. By working collaboratively, we can shape an even more innovative and prosperous economy which is greater than the sum of its parts.

As part of our Vibrant Economy campaign we recently held our first Norwich Vibrant Economy dinner where local leaders from private, public and third sectors came together to discuss what is needed to elevate Norfolk to the next level. A key theme from the evening was how to market ourselves to attract new businesses and residents to Norfolk, but also to our children to ensure they stay and work in the county. Organisations such as New Anglia LEP, Norwich BID and Greater Norwich have started to look at this but we need to work collaboratively across all sectors to market this best-kept secret. Another topic discussed was how businesses can support schools to give students a better insight into the opportunities available across Norfolk.

With greater devolution comes greater control and we now have an opportunity to work together to shape a truly vibrant economy.

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