Views needed on ambitious blueprint

New Anglia LEP launch their "Towards a Growth Plan" document at their board meeting at the Assembly

New Anglia LEP launch their "Towards a Growth Plan" document at their board meeting at the Assembly Rooms in Norwich. Front, left to right, are LEP Chairman Andy Wood, with board members Erika Clegg and Mark Pendlington. - Credit: Archant

Bosses at the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership yesterday launched an economic blueprint for Norfolk and Suffolk which included creating 65,000 new private-sector jobs in the next decade and 10,000 new enterprises.

New Anglia published the first draft of its 'Towards a Growth Plan', setting out its vision for the two counties. Businesses are being asked to give their views on the plans

The ambitious document envisages a future where companies in the Norwich Research Park and Adastral Park, near Ipswich, will be 'comparable to that of Silicon Valley in California', while the Great Yarmouth and Waveney enterprise zone will be at the heart of a global centre for energy production.

It also looks forward to a world in which school attainment will match the best in Europe, making it 'easy to attract skilled and talented professionals'.

Normal rail journeys between Norwich and London will take 'less than 90 minutes' and the A11, A12, A14, and A47 are all 'free from congestion', while superfast broadband and 6G mobile phone services will be available 'everywhere in New Anglia'.

The plan focuses on growing key sectors, such as tourism, energy, advanced manufacturing and engineering and life sciences, plus the Lep Green Economy manifesto, creating a skilled workforce, supporting businesses and other vital areas.

Bosses also insist that it is a 'bottom-up' strategy – built from local plans including economic strategies for Norfolk and Suffolk and aiming to strengthen the local economy and create jobs in areas such as improving skills, boosting enterprise and innovation, investing in infrastructure and promoting green growth.

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Andy Wood, New Anglia chairman, said: 'We are ambitious to transform the economy of Norfolk and Suffolk and to establish New Anglia as a centre of business excellence within the UK and across the global economy. The plan for growth sets out our vision and strategy and invites you to help shape our plan and inform the right decision-making as we focus on investment priorities and growth.'

But the views of businesses and other stakeholders such as charities and councils will be key to its ongoing success and New Anglia has begun a consultation into the proposals.

The document will be redrafted in September and shared with ministers ahead of a further chance to make comments locally before the final document is submitted to government in January.

Dr Wood added: 'This is an important opportunity for businesses, private investors, local authorities, community representatives and leaders, voluntary organisations – and all those who live and work in Norfolk and Suffolk – to work with us to share priorities for the future.'

The Plan for Growth can be viewed at, while feedback and views can be sent to by August 23