Cash for a new roundabout could help to "unlock" close to 900 new jobs in a Norfolk village.

South Norfolk Council has agreed to put £300,000 towards road improvements in Hethel, near Wymondham.

The money will be used to open up almost 50 acres of employment land, by helping fund a roundabout and new access road off the B1135 for a development site.

This infrastructure will improve the access arrangements for Lotus expansion plans and the Hethel Engineering Centre.

Eastern Daily Press: A new roundabout and access road could help unlock expansion plans at HethelA new roundabout and access road could help unlock expansion plans at Hethel (Image: Copyright Archant Norfolk 2014)

Once the land is developed and occupied it is expected to deliver 870 new jobs and £57m for the local economy each year.

SNC's funding, which will come from a pool of Norfolk business rates, is just a part of the project's overall funding.

SNC leader John Fuller said Lotus has in the past failed to produce more than 1,500 cars in a year but the future looked positive for the company.

Eastern Daily Press: John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk CouncilJohn Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council (Image: Newsquest)

He told a cabinet meeting on Monday that he met with the chief executive of Lotus last month and the company is benefiting from nearly £1bn of investment.

"This is probably Norfolk's most exciting inward investment opportunity, not just of the moment, but for years," he said.

"If we can't assist, put our shoulder to the wheel to improve the access to that [site] for supplies and employees then who's going to do that for us?"

A report to the cabinet said: "Provision of the infrastructure will not only unlock the remainder of the allocated employment site but will also provide more appropriate infrastructure to support the growth of existing businesses.

"The growth in jobs and manufacturing at the site will result in increased traffic and heavy goods vehicle movements."

Lisa Neal, cabinet member for a strong economy, described it as a "really exciting project".

She said: "Massive investment is being proposed to support the new and existing businesses based at the Hethel Innovation Centre and money is being pumped into the Lotus expansion plans."

The new road and roundabout are also expected to improve traffic circulation and promote other travel modes, such as cycling.