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King’s Lynn, Wisbech and Ely projects included in new £30bn investment wishlist

The King's Lynn waterfront seen from the banks of West Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The King's Lynn waterfront seen from the banks of West Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

A fresh push to attract billions of pounds of investment to regenerate sites in west Norfolk has been welcomed by community leaders.

The pontoons on the King's Lynn quayside. Picture: Ian Burt.The pontoons on the King's Lynn quayside. Picture: Ian Burt.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has launched a new website to showcase dozens of initiatives across the country which are looking for heavyweight international support, including three in west Norfolk and East Cambridgeshire.

They are the £120m regeneration of King’s Lynn’s Nelson Quay, the £2.5bn Wisbech Garden Town project, and the £800m Camro Data Campus near Ely.

The new site – at invest.great.gov.uk – is intended to be a one-stop shop to help global investors find UK projects they may be willing to finance.

Alistair Beales, West Norfolk council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said he hoped the exposure would draw the attention of investors.

“It’s excellent news it’s on there, as it’s only going to help to attract investment,” he said.

“It’s a sizeable scheme, so it needs to be under the noses of large-scale investors and that’s exactly where it will be.”

Officials from the DIT are due to visit Lynn to find out more about the scheme which, if funded, would see the regeneration of Boal Quay, the Nar Loop and former grain silo site.

West Norfolk council agreed last summer to spend £250,000 developing the proposals, which include new residential streets being built on Boal Quay along with hundreds of new homes overlooking the river.

The plans, drawn up by architects Levitate, include flooding the silted-up Nar Loop and building a bridge across it, new homes, retail and leisure units, new moorings and waterside facilities.

Camro is a 40-acre site off the A142 near Ely which is aiming to attract data centre tenants, while the Wisbech Garden Town vision would bring 10-12,000 new homes and improved transport links to Fenland, and won backing from now-business secretary Greg Clark during a visit in March 2016.

Only three of the 68 projects identified are in the East of England, with every region apart from the South West (three) and Wales (one) having a greater representation in the list.

The investment drive was launched by international trade secretary Liam Fox, who described it as a “bold and ambitious programme”.

He added: “With more than £30bn worth of new opportunities, my international economic department’s overseas network is working hard to attract top investors to the UK.”

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