By Adam Gretton
Monday, November 26, 2012
A Norfolk district council is set to strengthen its links with Norwich with proposals to join a new partnership to promote economic growth and become part of an existing tourism body.
South Norfolk Councillors backed plans today to join a City Deals bid to the government, which if successful, would give more power to authorities in the Greater Norwich area to control growth.
Members of the council’s cabinet also agreed proposals to join an enlarged Visit Norwich to help boost tourism in South Norfolk.
John Fuller, leader of the district council, said the new partnerships had the potential of boosting the area’s economy.
Twenty towns and cities have been invited to enter the second wave of the government’s City Deals scheme, of which 12 bids will be accepted. Winning applicants would be able to keep a greater proportion of business rates to spend on local projects.
Mr Fuller said the bid, which involves Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, would look to enhance the life sciences sector in and around Norwich, including the expansion of the Norwich Research Park in Colney.
“There is no new money. It is a question of getting our arms around money that has not been spent as effectively,” he said.
Cabinet also agreed proposals to enter a partnership with Visit Norwich for the next three years, with no planned increase in the £33,000 the district council spends on tourism promotion every year.
Officers said that tourism funding was shifting away from the public sector to the private sector and joining an existing destination management organisation (DMO) was better than the district council setting up a new one for the South Norfolk area. Mr Fuller said the council did not have “sufficient scale” to establish its own DMO.