Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth: Strong interest in enterprize zone investment

DOZENS of firms from across the world have expressed an interest in doing business in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth on the back of plans to create an enterprise zone.

Waveney and Great Yarmouth councils, which are part of the Norfolk and Suffolk Energy Alliance (NSEA), say that more than 60 businesses have shown “substantive” interest in the area, with enquiries coming from China, Korea and Germany.

Representatives from NSEA, a joint public and private sector body set up to promote inward investment in the energy sector, have visited trade shows in Aberdeen, Manchester and Amsterdam.

Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft were designated as an enterprise zone last year, with a goal of bringing 10,000 new jobs and 180 new businesses into the area.

In November, the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft area was also one of five regions given Centre for Offshore Engineering (CORE) status.

Waveney District Council’s economic regeneration manager, Paul Moss, said: “Businesses are wanting to know what land there is in the area and things like transport and skills.”

NSEA inward investment director James Gray said: “It is very clear that the enterprise zone is a terrific asset. As well as the incentives which the companies recognise, it is also the recognition by government.

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“While there are a number of enterprise zones around the country there are an awful lot of areas that don’t have an enterprise zone. rom a selling point of view it is a terrific introduction to get them talking about what else we have on offer.”

Waveney and Great Yarmouth councils are now joining forces to ask for views on Local Development Orders (LDOs) which will be put in place in the enterprise zone.

The LDOs will allow businesses, within certain guidelines, to develop sites without specific planning permission. Both councils are consulting on the proposals ahead of their final implementation on April 1.

The simplified planning controls will apply to land in South Denes and Beacon Park in Great Yarmouth, Mobbs Way, Riverside Road and South Lowestoft Industrial Estate in Lowestoft and the Ellough Business Park near Beccles. Lowestoft PowerPark, which is not part of the enterprise zone, will also have an LDO.

Waveney District Council’s consultation begins on tomorrow and ends on February, 10. Documents are on www.waveney.gov.uk and at the Marina Customer Service Centre. Information on the Ellough site will be available at the Waveney District Council office in Beccles.

Great Yarmouth Council’s consultation begins on January 19 and runs until February 16. Documents are available at www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk and in hard copy at the Town Hall and in libraries.