Government hands cash boost to “shovel-ready” projects in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 09:04 04 August 2020 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 August 2020
West Suffolk Council
Plans to redevelop part of the Cornhill in Bury St Edmunds have been given a £2.75m cash boost as part of a wider national bid to revive the ailing UK economy after the coronavirus crisis.
Work to transform the old post office building is now expected to begin on September 7 on the £8.4m redevelopment project at 17-18 Cornhill which will include 12 flats and two business units.
A total of 13 projects across Suffolk and Norfolk will get a share of a £32m pot awarded to the two counties as part of the government’s Getting Building Fund set up in the wake of the pandemic, with more than £13m of that going directly to Suffolk-only based schemes.
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Other projects to benefit under the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)-run grants bonanza include a project to install micro electricity generation and storage units on car parks in Babergh and Mid Suffolk, which has scooped £800,000.
A new Integrated Care System Academy at the University of Suffolk gets £4m, while a project to transform a derelict Ipswich waterfront building to create Burtons Creative Hub is in line for £3m.
A plan to extend full fibre broadband to premises and to homes where small businesses and home workers are based in Suffolk gets £2.5m.
The East Suffolk Market Towns project – which aims to improve digital infrastructure in Lowestoft and Felixstowe with free WiFi, footfall tracking sensors, analytics and retail apps – receives £250,000.
A Resilience and Recovery Fund (R&R) to help firms across the counties to develop either long or shorter-term projects through grants, advice and guidance has been awarded £3.6m.
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The Bury St Edmunds Cornhill scheme involves developing 12 flats and two commercial/retail units as part of a programme to enhance and revitalise the town centre.
The project also involves improving and widening the Market Thoroughfare to help boost footfall between the historic town and the Arc shopping centre.
The Academy for Excellence in the Integrated Care System at the University of Suffolk aims to increase workforce skills to support the demands of the sector in the region and beyond.
The Bury St Edmunds Cornhill project involves demolishing the rear of the building and retaining the Victorian frontage, while the nearby Market Thoroughfare is improved through a wider walkway.
LEP chairman Doug Field said: “These projects will help us deliver on our ambitions to be a fantastic place to live, work and learn.
“From providing new community facilities and training centres to redeveloping our town centres and supporting our key sectors, the projects will accelerate local growth and support our economic recovery.
“It shows the government’s commitment to our area and allows us to work with partners to bring forward key infrastructure projects and help us achieve the goals in the new Economic Recovery Restart Plan and Economic Strategy.”
Projects to benefit in Norfolk are: Great Yarmouth seafront regeneration (£2.5m), the development of a Food Innovation Centre in Norwich (£2.7m), Great Yarmouth Operations and Maintenance Campus (£6m), North Walsham Town Centre Revitalisation (£1.17m), and a Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) for Norfolk (£2.056m).
Overall, more than 300 projects in England will receive a share of the £900m Getting Building Fund, which was announced by prime minister Boris Johnson in June to invest in “shovel-ready” housing and infrastructure projects.
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