Suffolk/ Norfolk: ‘California of Europe’ theme for New Anglia LEP conference

PUBLISHED: 11:59 19 September 2012 | UPDATED: 16:40 19 September 2012

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership


EAST Anglia’s potential to become “the California of Europe” will be the theme for the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s third major conference, to be held in Suffolk next month.

The focus on the knowledge, innovation, creativity and lifestyle of Cambridge, Suffolk and Norfolk reflects a recent comment in Parliament by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer that “All of us have a vision ... for our region as a whole. It should be the California of Europe”.

The event, sponsored by PwC and Mills & Reeve, is to be held at Wherstead Park, the home of the East of England Co-operative Society just outside Ipswich, on the morning of Monday, October 22.

Johnny Hustler, managing director of Archant Anglia, whose East Anglian Daily Times and Eastern Daily Press titles are joint media sponsors of the conference, will interview New Anglia chairman Andy Wood, in “The Hustler Interview”, exploring the conference theme and the LEP’s progress in growth jobs across Suffolk and Norfolk.

Dr Wood said: “In our region we have a powerful triangle of knowledge and innovation. This includes, Cambridge’s bioscience and digital expertise, Suffolk’s central of digital excellence at Martlesham BT, and Norfolk’s biotech, cleantech and medical science sectors.

“There is great potential for Suffolk and Norfolk businesses to exploit this knowledge, as is being achieved by Cambridge’s business community.

“Digital knowledge is at the core of the Norwich-based company Proxama and I’m delighted that Neil Garner will be joining us. As the chief executive of this mobile commerce business, he has a wealth of knowledge from doing business in the US. It will be fascinating to learn from his experience working with Californian entrepreneurs and the lessons our business community can learn to help growth.”

Also speaking at the conference will be Doug Field, executive officer for finance and technology at the East of England Co-op, who will highlight opportunities to become part of the society’s supply chain and its recently launched Regional Investment Fund for business. Further speakers will be announced shortly.

To find out more about the conference and to book a place please visit, .

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24


  • BT's centre of digital excellence at Martlesham might help Suffolk's Californication a little more if there was decent broadband speed across the county. This is just PR puff wasting everyone's time. Have these people ever been to California? Have they noticed how much the Californian economy is built on planned government spending? This is so flakily self-serving.

    Report this comment

    Carl Bennett

    Friday, September 21, 2012

  • I couldn't agree more with the comments below. Just as the East Anglian Development Agency, these predecessors appear to be just as useless and the marketing messages they adopt are frankly laughable!

    Report this comment

    David White

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • "The California of Europe" What a load of rubbish. If this is all this useless LEP does then it should be closed immediately, just like 1st East.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • So …. ‘East Anglia has the ‘potential to become the California of Europe’ – really! You also state that Neil Garner 'has a wealth of knowledge from doing business in the US' and ‘experience from working with Californian entrepreneurs’. I have lived and worked both in Northern and Southern California for the past 46 years including the Silicon Valley. Amongst other accomplishments in California, I have a degree from the University of California. Can you offer an example of Garner’s ‘experience’? Is it simply a two-day conference or has he lived and worked in our environment? By the way, I have maintained a home in the Golden Triangle for the past 24 years. Your article is far too ambiguous and self-serving to be taken seriously.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, September 20, 2012

  • 'California' dreaming................! Now you really are dreaming..................!!

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

  • This is as ridiculous a notion as that of Ipswich being a 'City'. East Anglia is more like the 'Black Hole of Calcutta' whilst Ipswich is more like the local rubbish dump.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


A global boom in the use of smart meters is set to fuel the growth of a pioneering East Anglian engineering company after it struck a major production deal with a leading Indian manufacturer.

I’ve seen and heard quite a lot over the years, so it takes quite a bit to shock me.

Green 100


Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition


Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor


Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor


Business Most Read


Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented