Council will loan £6m for Norwich aviation academy
- Credit: Archant
Norfolk County Council will provide a £6m loan for an engineering project amid fears over a multimillion funding gap this year alone.
A £12m complex at Norwich International Airport, designed to make the city a centre of the aviation industry, today moved a step closer.
Norfolk County Council's policy and resources committee said it would provide the final cash slice required to the authority's commercial arm Norse.
The training academy, which would boost the region's aviation skills in a bid to create more jobs, was unveiled in September 2013 and could take students from September next year.
It secured £3m of government funding in January 2015 and KLM UK Engineering will provide funding which includes a live aircraft.
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Some members of the committee questioned why the authority was saying it had no money to fund frontline services, while acting as a 'bank' for the academy.
Officers explained the interest return would prove fruitful for the council's coffers.
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The council needs to make £169m of cuts and savings over the next three years, but fears have already surfaced that almost £12m supposed to be saved this year might not be achieved.
It has come up with a strategy, called Re-imagining Norfolk, as a blueprint for how it can stay sustainable in the face of dwindling grants from the government.
While the prediction is that the council needs to save £111m over three years, the authority wants to identify £169m of possible savings and cuts, so that there is room to make choices in the future..
• More in tomorrow's paper.