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New Anglia LEP’s new economic strategy aims to generate 88,000 jobs by 2036

PUBLISHED: 10:31 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:58 19 September 2017

The Scroby Sands Wind Farm off Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Scroby Sands Wind Farm off Great Yarmouth beach. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

An ambitious vision to create 88,000 jobs, boost the Norfolk and Suffolk’s economy by £17.5bn and encourage 30,000 new businesses has been unveiled.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is asking partners to back its economic strategy which aims to bolster our region’s economy over the next 19 years.

To do this the proposal will target eight areas, identified as providing the “greatest opportunities and commitment for continued growth”, including Norwich and the “energy coast”.

While the LEP has published the document district and county councils as well as trade organisations will be developing their own action plans to deliver the targeted growth.

The full document will be published on October 25 with councils and other partner bodies due to vote on whether to endorse it over the next few weeks.

In his foreword to the draft of the strategy incoming LEP chairman Douglas Field says: “Our strategy is to support growth across all sectors, focussing on creating high value, highly skilled jobs and industries, whilst also providing the technical skills, access to innovative techniques and support that all businesses and the wider workforce needs to succeed.”

The LEP claims these are achievable ambitions, which are based on data collected from partners, with the 2014 strategic economic plan delivering 43,600 jobs 5,710 new businesses and securing £350m of government funding for the region.

Norfolk County Council leader Cliff Jordan said the priority would be to put the necessary infrastructure in place for 
growth, including the Norwich Distributor Road and better broadband. He said: “I want Norfolk’s economy to grow but not in fits and starts, I want it to be sustained growth.

“That is why we need the infrastructure in place to do it.”

Terry Jermy, Labour spokesman for environment, development and transport at Norfolk County Council, said he admired the ambition but wanted assurances around how it would be achieved.

He said: “The ambition is great but from a practical point of view can it be done with austerity and cuts to services. We keep taking money away from the economic development teams.”

The LEP said it had already begun drawing up action plans and once endorsed its partners would begin to do the same.

Key areas

The draft of the economic strategy, which is due to be sent to councils, names eight priority places which have been identified as having the “greatest opportunities and commitment” for continued growth.

These include:

Norwich and the surrounding area.

The energy coast – which includes Bacton, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Sizewell with assets both on and offshore.

The Norwich to Cambridge corridor – which connects two of global centres of research.

King’s Lynn and the A10 corridor linking it to Cambridge.

The east to west A47 corridor from Great Yarmouth to

King’s Lynn.

Ipswich and the surrounding area.

The A14 corridor from Felixstowe to Cambridge.

Along with these areas the

report has identified sectors which the region excels at including energy, insurance, digital and life sciences.

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