The top officer at an organisation charged with driving economic growth in Norfolk and Suffolk has announced he is quitting for a £100,000 job with Norfolk County Council.

Chris Starkie, the chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will take up the job of director of growth and investment at County Hall in June.

His impending departure, after 12 years at the helm of the LEP, comes as the partnership, set up more than a decade ago by the coalition government, faces having its functions and staff integrated into Norfolk and Suffolk county councils.

The LEP has helped usher millions of pounds of investment into the region, through a business-led partnership bringing together the private sector, local authorities and academic and voluntary institutions.

East Anglian Daily Times: Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise PartnershipChris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (Image: New Anglia LEP)

But, Norfolk and Suffolk councils have signed 'in principle' county deals with the government, which - if they go through - will see them take on more devolved powers, including those currently in the hands of the LEP.

East Anglian Daily Times: Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquartersNorfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters (Image: Mike Page)

Mr Starkie said: "The past 12 years running the LEP has been an incredible journey and an amazing experience.

"From pretty much a standing start we have achieved astonishing results – more than £1.5bn in investment, more than 60 really significant capital projects, face-to-face support for more than 14,000 businesses, tens of millions in grants to business, thousands of new jobs, one of the largest Enterprise Adviser Networks, two of the country's most successful Enterprise Zones, and so much more.

"The LEP has an amazing team of people who have continued to go above and beyond despite the uncertainty around our future, and it is down to them that we have been able to achieve what we have."

Before the transition to county councils - likely in 2024 if the deals go ahead - the LEP will keep supporting businesses, with chief operating officer Rosanne Wijnberg running the organisation.