New economic strategy aims to create and retain more businesses in south Norfolk

Picture shows: Aerial view of Wymondham, one of thw towns covered by the new strategy. Picture: Mike

Picture shows: Aerial view of Wymondham, one of thw towns covered by the new strategy. Picture: Mike Page.

The blueprint for a new economic strategy for south Norfolk, which aims to create more jobs and support the growth of businesses, has been approved.

The five-year plan, which will now enter a consultation stage after it received backing at a South Norfolk Council cabinet meeting, hopes to shift the district from a lower skill, lower wage economy to a higher skill and higher wage area.

There will also be greater employment and learning opportunities with an 'enhanced focus' on residents in market towns.

Julian Munson, head of growth and economic development at South Norfolk Council, said at the meeting: 'There is a need within market towns to make sure they are moving with the times.

'We need to drive more investment in the local area and provide the right conditions for businesses to start, grow and invest and to create

more employment and job opportunities.'

Mr Munson said there was also a focus on attracting and retaining local talent, especially in the science, maths and engineering sector, and to ensure there is a flow of people from local schools and colleges.

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Another proposed element of the strategy is a collaboration across south Norfolk, Breckland and West Suffolk into Cambridgeshire, to generate jobs and commercial land development. A further aim is to forge stronger links between Greater Cambridge and the Norwich Research Park, to raise the profile of the area.

The council will deliver the strategy by focusing on four core themes, people, place, innovation and enterprise. This will include creating the 'ideal environment for start-up enterprises' and enhancing 'key infrastructure and specialist spaces to enable a more innovative, dynamic and productive economy'.

A public consultation will take place until the end of February and a draft of the digital strategy will be published on the council website for comment.

A formal public launch and business reception is proposed for late spring.