By Matt Gaw
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
THE time has come for Suffolk’s businesses to stop hiding their light under a bushel, county leaders have said.
Speaking at the launch of an initiative intended to provide a plan for the region to deliver economic growth, Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee said it was essential that the county is put on a “strong upward curve” while promoting its “enviable strengths”.
Businesses from across the county filled the Apex in Bury St Edmunds to give their support to the official unveiling of the Suffolk Growth Strategy and the wider Invest in Suffolk website today.
Mr Bee said: “I believe that Suffolk has an exciting future and enormous potential. By working together we really can put Suffolk on a strong upward curve towards greater economic growth, jobs and prosperity.
“I’m delighted that today we are able to present two vitally important projects that we have been working on with our partners across Suffolk.
“We want to ensure that Suffolk is home to businesses with a sustainable future, businesses that can play a prime role in providing the growth of the long term economy.”
Mr Bee told the meeting that following the publication of the strategy the county council and its partners would develop a three year delivery plan which will include specific activities, milestones and targets. He added: “The launch is just the start of this process.”
The strategy, which bills Suffolk as the “bright choice for business”, outlines four priorities of skills, inward investment, infrastructure, and growth locations – including Greater Ipswich, the A14 corridor, and the market towns of Sudbury, Stowmarket and Hadleigh.
The commitment to investing £40million in the provision of a superfast broadband – expected to bring growth of £2billion over 15 years and create 5,000 jobs – was also touched on following questions from members of the audience. Mr Bee acknowledged that the mobile phone signal in Suffolk also needs to be “looked at”.
Judy Terry, the county council’s cabinet member for economic development, said that the strategy and the website launch – which provides six reasons for potential businesses to invest in Suffolk – had been developed because “Suffolk hides its light under a bushel”.
She added: “It is far too modest about what it achieves and what it can achieve. We already have enviable strengths that we can shout about. Suffolk is home to some fast-growing industries backed by pioneering technology. We have got excellent connections, room for growth and high calibre people and we are looking to develop those high value jobs which will bring more to our local economy.”
Visit www.investinsuffolk.com for more details.