LEP unveils five-year plan to create more than 3,000 jobs
- Credit: James Powell Photography
Norfolk and Suffolk’s economic development leaders have set out a five-year plan to create thousands of jobs across the two counties by investing in enterprise zones.
New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has published a plan for 2021 to 2026 which it says will help create more than 3,300 jobs and 200 new businesses.
New business incubation hubs, innovation centres and office and hotel developments connected to a wider innovation and research network will help drive the region’s economy towards “high growth, high value” businesses, it says.
The plan shows that 4,454 jobs have already been created and 199 businesses supported with 116ha of land unlocked for development.
These sites have leveraged more than £490m of public and private investment, it said, adding that the LEP was working closely with local authorities, landowners and developers to help accelerate investment and development opportunities.
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The Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone — spanning 10 sites across the two counties — recently marked its fifth anniversary, while the Great Yarmouth & Lowestoft Enterprise Zone was launched in 2012.
Between them they cover 16 commercial sites. The business rates retained from the sites over their lifetime total £200m — much of which is being reinvested into infrastructure and marketing to accelerate development, said the LEP.
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Julian Munson, head of enterprise zones and innovation at the LEP, said they wanted to reposition the enterprise zones to drive clean growth and innovation.
“Clean growth is the golden thread which runs through the Norfolk & Suffolk Local Industrial Strategy and enterprise zones can play a critical role in our drive to net zero,” he said.
“This plan supports a number of activities and projects aimed at repositioning these zones for clean growth through encouraging low carbon, low impact developments, and alternative local energy sources, and supporting greener business practices in key sectors.”
Ecommerce giant Amazon, food supplier LDH (La Doria), and flavour and fragrance manufacturer Treatt have so far been supported by the zones, with major commercial developments completed at sites including Futura Park and Princes Street in Ipswich and Norwich Research Park.
“Priority Places” identified include ones on the A11 and A14 corridors, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, King’s Lynn, and Greater Norwich and Ipswich.
Cooling products manufacturer and supplier Hubbard Products — which has new 80,000 sq ft refrigeration factory at Futura Park in Ipswich — hopes to expand its 170-strong workforce by nearly 50% over the next four years.
Chief executive Ilias Katsoulis said: “The factory will generate new value for Hubbard’s blue-chip customers as well as the local community, providing advanced products and job opportunities for the next four years and beyond.”
CH Wines is a small firm which operates at Scottow Enterprise Park on the former RAF Coltishall base in Norfolk.
Its sales and account manager Ben Thompson said companies like his benefited from being part of a hub. Since the 64-acre site was established there as part of the Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone it has supported 74 new businesses and 397 new jobs.
“I think the best thing about Scottow Enterprise Park is the community. There are so many great businesses that are incredibly varied. It feels like a community, and we have met some great people through this is well,” he said.