Government says Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Lowestoft in frame for up to £25m boosts
PUBLISHED: 14:33 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:46 06 September 2019
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A share of a multi-million pound pot of government cash could be heading to parts of Norfolk and Suffolk, to breathe new life into areas which could do with a helping hand.
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 government announced that they are among 100 places eligible for support from the fund and have been invited to draw up proposals to secure what is known as a Town Deal.
That is money which would be given to help transform the area's prospects, with a focus on improved transport, better broadband, skills and culture.
The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership welcomed the opportunity. Chris Starkie, chief executive, said: "This is great news for Norfolk and Suffolk.
"Additional funding will help to support projects to improve productivity and skills and deliver inclusive growth.
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"New Anglia LEP has proven success in bidding for government funding through our Growth Deal and City Deals - which have secured over £290m to be spent locally - and we are keen to play a role in helping our towns submit compelling bids."
Local government secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, said: "Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in London or our biggest cities, is at the heart of the mission of this government.
"We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in transport, technology, skills and culture."
"I will now work with local people from the 100 communities announced today to agree proposals to invest up to £25m in each place.
"I hope these deals will provide the investment and the impetus for long-term renewal ensuring each town can look to the future with a new optimism."
Norwich is in the running despite being a city and already having a City Deal.
That was awarded to the Greater Norwich area in 2013, with £100m of private investment promised to help create jobs, including at Norwich Research Park, Norwich International Airport and Norwich University of the Arts.
A Norwich City Council spokesman said: "We welcome the opportunity that this type of funding might offer."