Suffolk: New Anglia LEP sings UKTI deal to boost inward investment

AN AGREEMENT aimed at boosting overseas investment in Suffolk and Norfolk has been signed by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), it was revealed today.

Under the deal with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the Government’s export and inward investment arm which had representatives based in embassies across the world, the two counties and UKTI will exchange key information.

UKTI will share details of its portfolio of investors and overseas perceptions of Suffolk and Norfolk while the two counties will share their information, intelligence and portfolio of investors with UKTI.

The agreement also specifies the aim of ensuring that the two counties’ strengths are recognised and promoted to potential overseas investors effectively.

Suffolk and Norfolk county councils, as partners in New Anglia LEP, will be responsible for the co-ordination of inward investment activity in their respective areas.

This will include hosting visits from investors and co-ordinating “aftercare” services to support businesses once they have based themselves in the two counties.

Andy Wood, chairman of New Anglia LEP, which is one of 38 partnerships set up to replace the former regional development agencies, said: “Attracting new jobs and investment into Suffolk and Norfolk is an important priority for New Anglia and it is critical we work closely with our partners at UKTI to help promote the area effectively overseas.

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“This partnership with UKTI will help us promote our key sectors, from energy and life sciences, to engineering and financial services, on a world stage.”

Martin Phelan, director of investment at UKTI, added: “This agreement will be a vital part of improving the experience for companies wishing to invest in the UK. It will harness the UK’s global integrated network whilst at the same time further strengthening the important link with local communities and business.

“Foreign companies seeking to locate and grow their business in the UK will now have a clear point of entry to the Government’s inward investment support right through to the local level.”

Judy Terry, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for the Greenest County, Economy & Skills, said: “This new agreement is great news for Suffolk and Norfolk as we look to attract greater investment to boost our local economy.

“I’m delighted to be working with New Anglia LEP and UKTI to promote our many strengths, including showcasing the two counties as attractive locations for people in the UK and overseas to do business.”

Ann Steward, Norfolk County Council ‘scabinet member for economic development, added: “This is a great opportunity for Norfolk and Suffolk.

“This new agreement represents a step-change in the way we will be working with UKTI in the future. t will provide a strong framework to highlight the opportunities we can offer investors considering expansion, re-location, starting-up a new business or investing in Norfolk and Suffolk businesses.”