A new economic strategy has been launched that aims to accelerate the East of England's economy's transition to a zero-carbon economy and upskill the region's workforce to benefit everyone.

The Norfolk & Suffolk Economic Strategy was launched by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and has been developed in partnership with businesses, business support organisations, local authorities, VCSE organisations, colleges, and universities.

The strategy highlights Adastral Park for providing cutting-edge digital skills for people looking to pursue careers in ICT, as well as exploring digital health and smart living research innovation. Freeport East will accelerate the UK's gateway to Asia and Europe, both in trade and investment, while establishing itself as a key component of the UK's hydrogen strategy and drive towards net zero.

It also looks to the Southern North Sea as the UK's natural gas basin, with a third of the UK's domestic gas requirements handled at Bacton Gas Terminal in north Norfolk.

Within the region's agri-food sector, controlled environment farming is an emerging specialism. There are also game-changing capabilities for agri-food firms to take advantage of including 5G, satellite applications, robotics, and drones on offer at Adastral Park and the wider Connected Innovation network.

Councillor Carl Smith, Chair of Norfolk Public Sector Leaders Group, said: “This region has ambitions to become the UK’s leading clean growth region and this strategy reflects that and sets out how that will be achieved.

“Norfolk is at the forefront of the clean energy revolution and has already been earmarked as a prime location for significant hydrogen production. We also have world-class centres in manufacturing and engineering, scientific research and agri-tech, and this plan aims to maximise the potential in these and other growing sectors.”

Councillor Suzie Morley, Chair of Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Group, said: “This strategy will set Suffolk on the right track to fulfil its enormous potential and give businesses the support they need to innovate and reach new markets.

“Key to support will be ensuring businesses have the right people and skills, particularly in digital and innovative technologies, through our colleges and universities and centres of excellence such as Adastral Park. This plan recognises that.”