New Anglia LEP to urge Suffolk and Norfolk businesses to back case for devolution

Mark Pendlington, chair of the New Anglia LEP.

Mark Pendlington, chair of the New Anglia LEP.

Businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk will this week be urged to put their weight behind plans for a devolution deal with the Government, giving the region greater powers to boost growth and employment.

Public consultation on the proposal has just started, with a closing date of August 23, and as part of the process New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is hosting three events to give businesses the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of devolution and have their voices heard in the decision-making process.

Around 150 businesses have already signed up to attend the events, which are being held by the LEP in partnership with the Norfolk and Suffolk chambers of commerce,

The first takes place tomorrow at University Campus Suffolk’s Waterfront Building in Ipswich, from 8am to 10am, where the speakers will be Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, Andy Wood, independent chair of the East Anglian Devolution Leaders Group, and Peter Funnell, past-president of Suffolk Chamber.

The second event takes place on Thursday at Norwich University of the Arts’ Ideas Factory in Norwich, also from 8am to 10am, where Mr Pendlington and Dr Wood OBE will be joined as speakers by Caroline Williams and Jonathan Cage of Norfolk Chamber.

And the final event takes place on Friday at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, again from 8am to 10am, where Mr Pendlington will be joined by Matt Moss, chair of Suffolk Chamber in Bury St Edmunds.

Businesses will also have the opportunity to co-sign a letter giving their endorsement for the devolution agreement for Norfolk and Suffolk which will be submitted as part of the wider consultation process.

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Mr Pendington said: “This is a rallying call that will leave the Government in absolutely no doubt that we are up for the challenge of building on our successes and achievements so far and driving forward our ambitions.”