Economic boost for Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft after inclusion in Assisted Area Status Map
- Credit: Archant � 2012
Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft could be set for an EU funding boost after the government today published a draft map which proposes which areas of the UK are eligible to receive regional aid.
Both towns have been included in the Assisted Area Status Map that will cover the next European Union funding period from 2014 to 2020.
Assisted Area Status permits the granting of additional financial support to small businesses and large enterprises in economically disadvantaged locations.
The towns' inclusion of the draft map comes after the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership had proposed both Yarmouth and Lowestoft for the funding bid, with the support of local MPs and councils.
Inclusion in the map will build on the existing incentives of the Enterprise Zones, Local Development Orders and the two ports designation as a Centre of Offshore Renewable Engineering (CORE).
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Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, has welcomed the publication of the draft map which he says could be catalyst for unlocking economic growth and jobs opportunities in the town.
He said: 'It is great news that the government has recognised the strong case put forward by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership promoting parts of Lowestoft and Yarmouth for inclusion in the map.
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'Assisted Area Status can play a pivotal role in attracting infrastructure investment to Lowestoft, it complements the existing Enterprise Zone and CORE allocations and it has the potential to be enormously beneficial to businesses looking to invest in premises or machinery.
'At present the proposed map is a draft and is now subject to consultation.
'It is important that we now make strong representations to ensure that the allocation is confirmed.'
Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said: 'This is fantastic news. Funding through AAS status could help unlock jobs across our borough and allow us to really push forward in revitalising our local economy.
'It would be another piece in the economic jigsaw, which is being constructed by our pro-active Government. Great Yarmouth is once again being put on the economic map.
'However we can't rest on our laurels and I will continue to work to ensure that we stay in the final document.'
The draft map is now subject to consultation.'
A final Assisted Area Status Map will be submitted to the European Commission for approval in March. The consultation runs until Friday, February 7 2014.
The consultation can be found at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/assisted-areas-map-2014-to-2020-stage-2