Norfolk councillors back major business growth plan for the region

Eric Seward, who represents North Walsham East for the Liberal Democrats on Norfolk County Council.

Eric Seward, who represents North Walsham East for the Liberal Democrats on Norfolk County Council. Pic: Liberal Democrats. - Credit: Liberal Democrats

An ambitious plan to boost Norfolk and Suffolk's economy by £17.5bn is one step closer after a Norfolk County Council debate.

Rhodri Oliver, who represents Attleborough for the Conservative party on Norfolk County Council.

Rhodri Oliver, who represents Attleborough for the Conservative party on Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Archant

An ambitious plan to boost Norfolk and Suffolk's economy by £17.5bn is one step closer after a Norfolk County Council debate.

The majority of members on the authority's policy and resources committee backed outline proposals brought forward by officers on Monday.

If launched, the new economic strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk, which is being driven by New Anglia LEP, would strengthen the region's finances over the next 19 years with up to £350m of government funding expected to come to the region.

District and county councils as well as trade organisations would develop their own action plans.


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By 2036, the strategy aims to help the Norfolk and Suffolk economy by creating £17.5bn, 88,000 new jobs, 30,000 new businesses and 140,000 new homes.

Key areas identified by the LEP as priority places with the 'greatest opportunities and commitment' for continued growth, include:

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?Norwich and the surrounding area;

?The energy coast, including Bacton, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Sizewell with assets both on and offshore;

?The Norwich to Cambridge A11 corridor;

?King's Lynn and the A10 corridor linking it to Cambridge;

?The east to west A47 corridor from Great Yarmouth to King's Lynn.

During the discussion, committee member Rhodri Oliver said he was heartened the strategy was looking at the issue of productivity.

Bill Borrett said: 'Norfolk is going to produce its own strategy. I hope it will include a lot of our county towns.'

But Eric Seward said: 'North Norfolk is under severe pressure to take in more houses. Where is the infrastructure going to come from?'

Steve Morphew said: 'This is high-level strategy so I don't expect there to be much detail. I feel it is all things to all people.'

Tracy Jessop, assistant director of communities and environmental services for the council, said the plan would bring together the authority's infrastructure and economic ambitions.

The LEP spoke with more than 1,000 organisations in pulling together the proposals in partnership with local authorities and business groups. The full version will be brought back to the policy and resources committee in January before going to full council a month later.

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