East Anglia: Ipswich flood defence and Haverhill Research Park clinch share of �14million worth of funds

Ipswich’s flood defence scheme and Haverhill Research Park have won a share of �14million worth of funds aimed at kickstarting jobs and growth across Suffolk and Norfolk.

Regional development body New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) today announced its intention to support, subject to contract and conditions, three major projects across the two counties, with �2m earmarked for the Haverhill project and �6.6m to the Ipswich flood defence scheme.

The third scheme is the former HL Foods site in North Walsham, which gets �2.3m and one further project, East Norwich Regeneration Project, has also received an offer in principle.

Seventeen proposals were submitted for support from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund. The proposals requested more than �49m, against an available �18m.

The LEP board selected four proposals against a shortlist six of the proposals which scored the highest against the fund’s criteria.

This included number of jobs created, speed of delivery, value for money and ability to repay the funding.

The Haverhill Research Park project involves the provision of infrastructure and siteworks to open up a 29.5 acre site for homes, employment space, a hotel and pub. The award is dependent on a similar amount of funding being provided by the Greater Cambridge – Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership.

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The East Norwich Regeneration Project has been offered �3.5m in principle on the basis that it produces a more detailed proposal within the next year.

The LEP said it would be working with bidders that did not meet the stringent criteria to strengthen their project proposals over the coming months to prepare them should further central Government funding become available.

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Presentations on the proposals were made to the board and we were impressed with the quality of what we saw.

“The projects we approved on the basis that they most clearly matched our key priorities around job creation, speed of delivery, value for money and prospect of repayment.

“As well as the three projects and one project approved in principle, we also agreed to retain �2.2m of the funds available to support a revised Rural Growth Network proposal and other key priorities. This is a really exciting development which will help to create hundreds more jobs across rural areas in Norfolk and Suffolk.”

Approved projects will be subject to a thorough due diligence process before funds are released.