Business leaders to have their say

SUFFOLK business leaders are being asked for their views on the future prosperity and economic growth of the county in an online consultation survey set up by the Suffolk Development Agency.

SUFFOLK business leaders are being asked for their views on the future prosperity and economic growth of the county in an online consultation survey set up by the Suffolk Development Agency.

The survey is part of on-going research by the SDA for its economic development strategy for the next three years.

Throughout July, the organisation invited individuals active in the local business community to workshops across the county to help prioritise business needs in the future strategy. Invitations were sent out via the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to both members and non-members.

Having identified eight key focus areas from these workshops, the SDA aims to refine the consultation process by seeking further feedback from more business leaders via the online survey.

Entitled Expanding Suffolk's Horizons, the 2007-2010 strategy will concentrate on the following issues: transport infrastructure, retention and attractions of a skilled workforce, skills, business support, promotion of Suffolk as a place to work and live, land availability and planning, availability of funding, and utilities.

The online consultation, which runs until 31 August, can be found at www.expandingsuffolkshorizons.co.uk.

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The SDA will produce a draft strategy report by the end of September, which will go back out to consultation with the aim of having a final strategy in place for the start of 2008. The report will link into the East of England Development Agency's regional economic strategy, also due to come out in draft format in September.

“The Suffolk Development Agency has the lead responsibility for the sustainable economic growth of the county,” said Julian Munson, acting chief executive.

“We have a real opportunity through the Expanding Suffolk Horizons economic development strategy to help shape an exciting future for Suffolk. By building on existing business centres of excellence such as Adastral Park and the Port of Felixstowe, while supporting the birth of the University Campus Suffolk, we can ensure continued growth for the county's economy.

“We're keen to capture the views and aspirations of the county's business leaders to ensure that we're all moving ahead in the right direction and focusing the efforts of our public sector partners.”