New Anglia LEP’s support for growing businesses passes the £20m milestone
- Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography
The value of business support provided by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has now passed £20m, guests at the organisation's annual general meeting were told today.
Mark Pendlington, for who the meeting marked the end of a three-and-a-half year term as chairman of the LEP, said this sum had helped to create more than 2,200 jobs in Suffolk and Norfolk, and to unlock nearly £100m in private sector investment.
'To put that £20m into context, over the same period, since 2011, the entire devolved authority in Wales has delivered just half that figure – £10m,' said Mr Pendlington.
'Our colleagues at the New Anglia Growth Hub say the message is getting out there about our Small Grant Scheme, but the vast majority of support has been delivered through our flagship Growing Business Fund.'
Chris Starkie, managing director of New Anglia LEP, added: 'We're hugely proud of reaching the £20m mark, but even more proud of what it means for businesses in the East and our wider economy. More than 2,200 jobs created and £96m in private investment is making a real difference in our two counties.'
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In his final chairman's review, Mr Pendlington said it had been 'a successful, interesting and dynamic year' for the LEP, with projects supported including the new International Aviation Academy in Norwich and the planned transformation of the Cornhill in the centre of Ipswich.
And a new draft economic strategy recently launched by the LEP set out the direction for future growth in the region, he added.
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At the end of the meeting, held at the Suffolk Food Hall, at Wherstead, on the edge of Ipswich, incoming chairman Doug Field, joint chief executive at the East of England, paid tribute to Mr Pendlington's work and said he would be a hard act to follow.
'Over the last three years the LEP has achieved a great deal,' said Mr Field. 'I am delighted to have been elected by the LEP board to this inspiring opportunity to build on all the hard work Mark has put in.'
He added: 'It is important that we deliver on our ambitions; deliver what we say we will.
'New Anglia LEP has a track record of achievement and we have to continue that. I want the best for the region and I want to make a difference.'