How do you sell Norfolk to the world?

Chris Starkie, New Anglia LEP managing director, Sally Ann Forsyth, chief executive of Norwich Resea

Chris Starkie, New Anglia LEP managing director, Sally Ann Forsyth, chief executive of Norwich Research Park, and Tig Armstrong, Norfolk County Council's infrastructure and economic growth manager, at the MIPIM business breakfast at Norwich Research Park. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk is feeding, powering and connecting the world – and that is why investors should take notice of it.

That was the message from a team aiming to promote the region to an international audience, hoping to bring businesses and investment to the East.

Representatives from Norfolk and Suffolk will be presenting the counties at MIPIM UK, a property marketplace for investors and developers from around the world, and a call has gone out to business leaders to join the ranks to help tell the region's story.

Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils and the New Anglia LEP have teamed up for the project with Norfolk working with agency Thinking Place to help rebrand the area.

New Anglia LEP managing director Chris Starkie said it was important for the region to be competing with the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine.

Speaking to business leaders at a breakfast meeting at Norwich Research Park's Centrum building yesterday he said: 'The East is greater than the sum of its parts. Together we have a £34bn economy.

'We need to shout about it because nobody else will. If we don't talk to the government and investors all they will hear about is the Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse.'

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He added: 'We are powering the world with energy experts and billion-pound investment in offshore wind. We are feeding the world with our leading agricultural industry and research.

'And we are connecting the world with our international research, innovation and technology.'

Other speakers at the event included Sally Ann Forsyth, the chief executive of Norwich Research Park, who spoke about the 'world -class' institutions and scale of development at the site.

Dr Forsyth said: 'We have four world-class institutions within a short walk of each other with a hospital and university nearby. Norfolk and Norwich is a fantastic place to work and live and we need to show people that.'

Norfolk County Council's infrastructure and economic growth manager Tig Armstrong said: 'MIPIM is about ensuring we are on investors' radars, which is good for economic growth.

'More broadly the project is about creating a positive story about Norwich and Norfolk as a good place to invest in and grow in. It is as much about the people that live here as the rest of the world.'

Speaking at the event Mr Armstrong called on businesses to add their voices by sharing their story at the MIPIM exhibition.

EDP managing editor Tim Williams also spoke at the event, urging businesses to help shape the discussion.

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