New Anglia LEP grant puts North Walsham housing development back on track

Clarke Willis, of Anglia Farmers, and Mark Pendlington, of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

Clarke Willis, of Anglia Farmers, and Mark Pendlington, of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. The pair marked the first year anniversary of the Growth Hub at the Norfolk Show. Picture Kieron Tovell. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk housing development which fell foul of the economic recession has been jump-started following a cash-injection from the LEP.

The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has handed a lifeline to a £2.4m development in North Walsham after its capital dried up in the wake of the financial crash.

The Mulberry Grove project will see 176 homes and a 50-space car park built on the former HL Foods brownfield site.

Developer Hopkins Homes secured the loan through the New Anglia LEP's Growing Places Fund so it could bring forward infrastructure work on an access road and a drainage system. The project will help to create 281 new jobs.

Speaking at the Royal Norfolk Show, Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia LEP, said there had been a 'lag time' since the recession in which some delayed infrastructure projects had struggled to get going again. He said it was about getting the right funding in place to support economic projects once confidence in the economy returned.

He added: 'From innovation centres that will help launch new start-ups and business ideas, to supporting developers transforming empty land into homes and commercial premises, the Growing Places Fund tackles the barriers to economic growth, providing much needed infrastructure funding to projects that might otherwise have stalled or not started at all.'

The Mulberry Grove development is the latest in a string of projects to receive a cash-boost from the £17m loan fund. The first phase of the infrastructure development has now been completed, and new homes are currently being built on the site.

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Simon Bryan, development director for Hopkins Homes, said: 'This is a fantastic opportunity to regenerate the gateway to North Walsham, and in creating this new community we will bring many positives to the town in terms of homes, jobs, public open space and a large amount of new trees.'

The Growing Places Fund aims to create 5,000 new jobs and 2,000 new homes, according to the LEP.

The Mulberry Grove announcement came as Mr Pendlington marked the anniversary of the New Anglia LEP's Growth Hub during a reception at Anglia Farmers' tent at the Norfolk Show.

The Growth Hub offers Norfolk and Suffolk firms access to free support from a team of 10 business growth advisers.

For more on the Royal Norfolk Show, see today's 16-page pull-out