Hopes for £125m boost to breathe new life into parts of Norfolk and Suffolk
- Credit: Mike Page
A potential £125m could be pumped into parts of Norfolk and Suffolk, with council leaders saying a share of government cash could help economies recover from coronavirus.
Up to £25m could be awarded to Norwich, King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Ipswich under the government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund initiative.
The money would help transform prospects, with a focus on improved transport, better broadband, skills and culture.
The government announced the 100 places eligible last year and councils now have four weeks to decide whether or not to submit a Town Investment Plan by July 31, by October 2020 or early next year.
A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said City Hall was keen to get its plan in next month.
She said: “With an ambitious vision for the future we have committed to working with partners to deliver against, it was vitally important to set up a Norwich Town Deals Board to seize the opportunity to bid for funding which would potentially bring £25m into the city.
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“The financial toll COVID-19 is having makes the need for us to work together to secure a financial boost for growth in the city even more relevant.”
Graham Middleton, cabinet member for business development at West Norfolk Council, said: “We are working with the King’s Lynn Town Deal Board to develop the vision and strategic case for our Town Investment Plan.
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“We are reviewing our priorities for investment, particularly in light of COVID-19, and projects which could fall within the government’s criteria.
“We have not confirmed with government yet to which cohort we will be submitting our plan, possibly looking at October to ensure we have time to prepare a robust set of proposals.”
A spokeswoman for East Suffolk Council said the council had been working with the Lowestoft Place Board to develop an investment plan, for submission in October.
She said: “The investment plan will highlight ambitious plans for regeneration throughout Lowestoft which address the government’s objectives of urban regeneration, skills and enterprise, infrastructure and connectivity.
“We are confident our plan highlights the opportunities to improve the economy and experiences in the town and look forward on negotiating with government on our Town Deal.”