Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils forecast 10,000 news jobs and nearly 18,000 new homes by 2036 in new ‘Open for Business’ stategy

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are aiming to create 10,000 new jobs and 18,000 new homes

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are aiming to create 10,000 new jobs and 18,000 new homes by 2036. Picture: PAUL NIXON - Credit: Archant

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have launched a new business strategy with the vision to create 10,000 new jobs and nearly 18,000 new homes by 2036.

Needham Lakes is popular with tourists in Mid Suffolk. Picture: GRAHAM MEADOWS

Needham Lakes is popular with tourists in Mid Suffolk. Picture: GRAHAM MEADOWS - Credit: citizenside.com

The ‘Open for Business’ strategy aims to support businesses of all sizes and across all sectors, develop skills and improve productivity, and increase average wages in the region.

The initiative will also seek to encourage a “culture of entrepreneurism” and support new start-up businesses.

The strategy has a focus on the “main towns” of Stowmarket and Sudbury, with a project called ‘Delivering a Vision for Prosperity’ dedicated to the pair - designed to foster “high-level aspiration”, set key priorities for the towns, and instigate a delivery plan that assigns action points.

The councils will particuarly aim to support businesses in ICT, financial and business services - whose numbers in the region are much lower than the national average.


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The strategy also sets out to address the wider than average gender pay gap in Suffolk (22.4% compared to the national average of 18.1%) and the need for additional housing, as well as problematic delays on the A14 and improvements needed to the A12 between Ipswich and Colchester.

The council paper, published on February 5, states that: “Our approach to the key sectors will not be at the expense of smaller sectors - we won’t just seek to support the large businesses. Our local economy is made up of thousands of micro, small and medium enterprises. 99.6% of registered businesses in Suffolk are SMEs, similar to the national average, but with business survival rates consistently better than the UK average.

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“By working collaboratively with our key delivery partners and business sectors, we will ensure that we understand where we add value for business and industry. This will help us to maximise our influence, impact and effectiveness by tailoring our support to better meet businesses needs and facilitating greater self-service. It should not matter at what point a business interacts with our organisation, they should consistently receive reliable, joined-up and timely advice.”

The paper also stresses that the councils cannot be expected to offer support in isolation.

“We will not seek to do things where others are better placed or positioned to achieve positive outcomes,” it states.

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