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New plan to boost Suffolk’s economy

PUBLISHED: 10:09 11 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 11 April 2018

The economic growth plan aims to capitalise on the work at BT Adastral Park. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The economic growth plan aims to capitalise on the work at BT Adastral Park. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

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Councils in east Suffolk will help support entrepreneurs and promote Suffolk as an international destination as part of measures announced in its new economic growth plan.

The East Suffolk Economic Growth Plan 2018-23 outlines the vision for Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils to boost the economy over the next five years, with the priority on supporting entrepreneurs, encouraging existing businesses to grow and attracting more investment to the county.

The strategy says it will focus on key industries such as food and drink, tourism, marine and technology to do this.

Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal’s deputy leader and economic development cabinet member, said: “One of our key priorities is to support the economic growth in the area.

“We already have the strongest economy in the county and we need to build on this, to provide much-needed jobs for local people.

“East Suffolk is a great place to live, with a fantastic quality of live, but without economic growth and prosperity, the area will struggle in the competitive national and international market to attract the entrepreneurs we need to drive the economy.

“We have a strong and diverse economy, as well as the fantastic leading-edge work being carried out at BT’s Adastral Park, we have the Port of Felixstowe, the country’s busiest container port, as well as the existing and planned new nuclear power stations at Sizewell and a high value and varied tourism sector.

“Our role is to make sure we provide continued support in the economic foundations, such as business support, finance, infrastructure investment and skills development to maintain economic growth.”

The vision outlines the Suffolk coast as a “major international gateway” through Felixstowe and Lowestoft, and added: “East Suffolk is an international destination – and it should be promoted and marketed in these terms as part of a wider UK offer.”

It also details potential threats such as an ageing population, limited higher education, and broadband connectivity.

Bosses at the Eastern Enterprise Hub which runs programmes across the region to support entrepreneurs said it was “very important” for the economy and welcomed the plans.

Chief executive Digby Chacksfield said: “At the Eastern Enterprise Hub, we know that Suffolk is very entrepreneurial as we meet a lot of fantastic people with great start up and spin out ideas and we help them to develop.

“It’s great that east Suffolk has decided to support entrepreneurs and we look forward to hearing more of their plans in the future.

“What’s important for an entrepreneur to thrive is a network of peers; we hope the council will be looking at ways to facilitate networks for the wave of entrepreneurs or start ups that they want to support.”

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