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Government cash in sight for county

PUBLISHED: 07:45 21 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 October 2010

SHAUN LOWTHORPE

A Norfolk bid to secure a slice of £40m of government cash for new thousands of new homes, transport links and jobs cleared the first hurdle yesterday.

A Norfolk bid to secure a slice of £40m of government cash for new thousands of new homes, transport links and jobs cleared the first hurdle yesterday.

Ministers confirmed that Norwich and Thetford were among 20 areas to be classed as future growth points.

That means the money could be used to help fund the proposed Norwich Northern bypass and the regeneration of the Anglia Square area.

While in Thetford it would fund a range or initiatives including more than 5,500 new homes, 6,000 jobs and a country park. There is also a scheme to create an avenue of trees to mark the 20000th anniversary of a revolt by Iceni Queen Boudicca.

William Nunn, leader of Breckland Council said the announcement was "marvellous news" which would help push the town up the pecking order for government cash and help access more funding in future.

"It enhances the position of Thetford as one of the towns in East Anglia which has great potential. We are talking huge sums of money. It's very exciting and should have a huge ripple effect along the whole of the A11 all the way up to Wymondham."

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said the next stage was to discuss the bid in more detail.

"This is an important step forward and holds out the real prospect of Norwich and Norfolk's local infrastructure needs being properly recognised in the forthcoming Government spending review.

The sustainable development of Norwich will bring a lot of positive benefits to the surrounding area.

Announcing the bids, Ruth Kelly, secretary of state for communities and local government said: "Many of our regional towns and cities want to grow and are experiencing increasing housing pressures. They want to become more attractive places for business to invest and young people to stay and -find a home. Of course we will need to look carefully at the proposals coming forward but I am greatly encouraged by the good early response to this scheme".

Bids were invited by the end of March and those announced yesterday will now be the basis for more detailed discussions over the next few weeks.


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