Suffolk and Norfolk funding boost: Six schemes shortlisted for share of �18m

SIX projects - two in Suffolk and four in Norfolk - in line for a share of an �18million Government windfall are expected to create thousands of jobs in the region.

The schemes have been earmarked for support from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) �18million Growing Places Fund.

The projects, whittled down from a possible 17 which, combined, were wanting �49m worth of funds, include Ipswich flood defence scheme, which has requested �6.6m, and Haverhill Research Park, which is asking for �2m.

The other shortlisted projects, which will be discussed at the LEP’s June board meeting, are King’s Lynn enterprise and innovation centre (�2.5m), Aerospace engineering training and innovation centre (�1.75m), South Norfolk, East Norwich regeneration project (�3.5m) and the former HL Foods site, North Walsham, (�2.3m).

LEP chairman Andy Wood said the LEP was “impressed” by the quality of the bids.

The projects, which will create more than 8,800 jobs and 2,600 homes, 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.

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The remaining 11 projects could be considered for future funding rounds if additional funding becomes available.

The Haverhill project would be jointly funded by New Anglia LEP and the Greater Cambridge - Greater Peterborough LEP.

Mr Wood said: “We were impressed with the quality of proposals that were submitted to the board.

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

“We had a number of questions regarding the shortlisted bids and that is why we will be examining them in more detail at this month’s board meeting.”

As well as the shortlisted six projects, the board also agreed to retain �2.2m of the funds available to support a revised Rural Growth Network proposal and other key priorities. The Rural Growth Network will create hundreds more jobs across the LEP area.

Each of the six shortlisted proposals will now be discussed in more detail at this month’s LEP board meeting, with funding allocations expected to be made at June’s board meeting.

Projects which are approved will then be subject to a thorough due diligence process before funds are released.