Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire should unite to form an “Eastern motor”

Communities Secretary Greg Clark. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Communities Secretary Greg Clark. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Cambridgeshire councils should consider teaming up with counterparts in Norfolk and Suffolk to create an 'Eastern motor', the communities secretary has said.

Greg Clark, the man tasked with delivering the chancellor's devolution revolution, said he sensed an 'increasing momentum', adding: 'It is full of possibilities and I am very optimistic that we will get something important and ambitious there.'

The government has been clear that local areas must come up with deals and it would not be centrally imposed.

Mr Clark said: 'I don't have the ability to say to Cambridgeshire 'You must be part of this', but I do think that they will want to consider the advantages of being part of what is a very coherent and economically ambitious area.

'They have been very creative in the past and I think they will be in the future.'

Questioned on the progress of a devolution deals in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, he said: 'There is certainly an 'Eastern motor' there, and it is clearly bursting with possibility

'When you think of the cities in the area, Cambridge and Norwich, plus the town of Ipswich, then these are places where there is a lot of excitement and growth happening, great universities and research institutions, plus you have the combination of heritage and coastal power as well.

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'You clearly have in Cambridge massive job creation that I think the participation of its neighbours can help bolster that and make sure that everyone can benefit from it. '

Mr Clark added there was no deadline for the deal and it was 'more important to get it right.'

But he indicated that 'over the next few months' he hoped to 'make significant progress and agree a lot of these deal including in the East of England.'

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