A11 business corridor scheme to have first public exhibition

The shaded areas show were the A11 technology corridor would cover

The shaded areas show were the A11 technology corridor would cover - Credit: Archant

An ambitious plan to create an A11 technology corridor that could create thousands of well-paid jobs in the region is to have its first public display later this month.

The scheme to create jobs from Norwich though to Cambridgeshire is to have a so called soft launch when it is exhibited at inaugural Venturefest East at Newmarket Racecourse on Tuesday, May 24.

The event will bring together innovators, successful entrepreneurs and investors and they will have the opportunity to hear about the A11 growth corridor project, which was set up to reap the benefits of the dualling of the A-road.

Included in the project are 14 key area and technology hubs along the A11, including Norwich Research Park, Thetford Enterprise Park and Hethel.

As well as about 9,000 direct jobs, the project would see thousands of other linked jobs created and the construction of 20,000 homes- all leading to a £588m boost to the economy.

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The key drivers of the project, which has a 2031 deadline, are South Norfolk Council, Breckland Council and Forest Heath District Council and the New Anglia and Greater Cambridge and Peterborough LEPS.

As well as preparations for Venturefest East, the project has seen marketing and media agencies brought in to help promote and create a brand for the scheme, which should get an official name later this year.

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John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said: 'The economy doesn't just grow in cities, it also grows in the spaces between cities.

'The principle corridor linking Norwich and Cambridge is a hotbed of innovation.

'University-led growth is a well-trodden path all the bright ideas that are spinning out of both Norwich and Cambridge need to be captured and used to benefit the local economy.

'We need to lock the wealth into the region rather than it going elsewhere, but it's not just about the A11, there's also a rail line between Norwich and Cambridge with lots of business land with untapped potential.'

Sam Chapman-Allen, deputy leader of Breckland Council, added: 'We welcome the potential created by the improvements to the A11 to bring forward a technology corridor stretching from Cambridge to Norwich.

'It can help unlock the potential of key sites such as Thetford Enterprise Park and Snetterton Heath, enabling businesses to expand, attracting higher value industries, and bringing quality jobs to the district.

'We are working in a strategic partnership with other district and county councils and local enterprise partnerships to increase prospective levels of growth and maximise benefits to the whole region.'

Do you have a business technology story? Email mark.shields@archant.co.uk

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