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New Anglia local enterprise partnership outlines campaigns to boost business growth in Norfolk and Suffolk in 2014

PUBLISHED: 11:23 08 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:24 08 January 2014

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership

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Bosses at New Anglia local enterprise partnership are looking to reach out to smaller firms in 2014 in a bid to showcase how it can help them grow.

The Lep has £12m of funding available under its Growing Business Fund programme, but the cash must be handed out by March next year.

being urged to seek out a slice of a £12m fund aimed at helping businesses grow.

The fund targets small and medium sized businesses and provides grants of between £25,000 and £500,000 to firms which have a shortfall in their investment plan and are able to create at least one job for every £10,000 provided by the fund. A maximum of 20pc.

So far New Anglia has approved nine projects totalling £595,000 including £100,000 for Pipeshield International, £200,000 for Snelling Business Systems and and £30,000 for EDP Future50 firm FXHome.

Chris Dashper, New Anglia’s Growing Business Fund Manager, said; “Our Growing Business Fund is a very exciting offering for Suffolk and Norfolk businesses. We have £12m which must be allocated by March 2015, so the clock is ticking. We need businesses to go to our new website to see if they qualify. The fund is providing an essential cash injection for businesses who want to grow.”

And to engage more directly with small businesses, New Anglia is also piloting a series of business roadshows throughout Norfolk and Suffolk in 2014. These will be held in market towns in the region and are designed to enable smaller businesses to find out what New Anglia can do to help them.

New Anglia has also announced that it will be leading a strong skills campaign, following on from the launch of its Skills Manifesto in November last year. This will focus on bringing together business and education to ensure that young people have the skills that businesses require in the future.

Dr Andy Wood, New Anglia Chairman, said: “Our commitment to delivering a cohesive, razor-sharp skills strategy will be a key focus in 2014. The first step is to form a Skills Board, comprising representatives from business, education, public and private sector, who can work together to deliver the Skills Manifesto and develop a strategy going forward.

“In this way we can begin the process of strengthening the region’s workforce at grass roots level where it is needed, as soon as possible, change attitudes for the better and help business and education to embrace new ideas and work for the greater good long-term.”

Another initiative which will see even greater focus in 2014 is the Green Economy Pathfinder (GEP). Appointed by government in 2012 to lead the country in driving the green economy, New Anglia developed the GEP as a blueprint designed to strengthen and highlight the work that the region is doing to boost the green economy and develop low carbon goods and services. The aim is that this work can then be used by other LEPs around the country to create their own more successful green economies.

Mark Pendlington, GEP Board Chairman, commented: “Developing a sustainable, profitable green economy is more vital than ever before. It is essential that we highlight the key issues that businesses need to focus on; we are running out of vital resources globally, and this means we have to adapt and find sustainable ways to do business, now.

“We have some fantastic examples of businesses in the region who have embraced this – such as Adnams, Anglian Water and REV ACTVE. We are championing these businesses and challenging others to come forward and work with us to make this the year in which more companies than ever before find profitable ways to cut their carbon footprint and work smarter and greener. We will shortly be unveiling the ‘GEP Challenge’, which will be an excellent way for businesses to get involved and profit from this campaign.”

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