Norfolk and Suffolk scoop nearly £1m to help businesses to grow
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A new funding pot of nearly a million pounds is being made available to boost high-growth businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Under the Invest East scheme, companies will be able to benefit from up to 50 hours of intensive support, including advice on how to attract external investment, and how the region can raise its profile as a whole.
The project, run by Norfolk County Council, alongside Suffolk County Council, the University of East Anglia's (UEA) Adapt group and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, has been awarded £900,000 by the European Regional Development Fund.
The support will be split into three strands:
• Investment readiness support: UEA's Adapt group will support SMEs looking for investment to grow, with up to 50 hours of guidance on developing a fully worked offer, including contact with consultants and entrepreneurs.
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• Investor support programme: The two county councils will work with New Anglia LEP to develop external promotion offers, and then manage the interest of investors from outside the region.
• Profile raising and lead generation: national and international forums will be targeted to find leads, investment and talent to transform how Norfolk and Suffolk are seen.
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Barry Stone, chairman of Norfolk County Council's business and property committee, said: 'This strong partnership across both counties will achieve a collective impact towards a vision for a healthy investment landscape that will highlight the best we all have to offer.'
Julian Munson, head of inward investment at New Anglia LEP, said: 'One of the key priorities of the Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk is to work with local partners to deliver increased investment into our area, making it a business destination of choice for innovation, knowledge and expertise. This includes increasing the area's share of global exports and attracting skilled talent.
'This Invest East funding will help us to deliver innovative and targeted campaigns to help our region's businesses and economy grow.'
Professor Fiona Lettice, pro-vice chancellor for research and innovation at University of East Anglia, said: 'Invest East will play a vital role in supporting our local economy and I'm delighted that the university's innovation, enterprise and investment expertise will be making an impact through this project.'
Saffron Myhill-Hunt, innovation funding manager at Adapt, added: 'There are so many great businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk that just need the right information, advice and contacts to be able to raise the funds they need to grow.'
Matthew Hicks, leader of Suffolk County Council, said the project would 'help us to attract inward investment to the region and make a step change in the support that we can offer ambitious businesses that want to grow.'
Invest East will run from September 1 this year to August 2021, and create five jobs.
Interested businesses can register their interest at www.newangliagrowthhub.co.uk/contact/