Suffolk and Norfolk come together in plea to Government

James Cartlidge introduces the East Anglian summit. Picture: NEW ANGLIA LEP

James Cartlidge introduces the East Anglian summit. Picture: NEW ANGLIA LEP - Credit: Archant

Business leaders, MPs and council chiefs have come together at Westminster to try to force the government to keep East Anglia’s infrastructure needs at the top of the agenda when it looks at boosting spending across the country.

Delegates at the East Anglian infrastructure summit. Picture: NEW ANGLIA LEP

Delegates at the East Anglian infrastructure summit. Picture: NEW ANGLIA LEP - Credit: Archant

The Infrastructure Summit was organised by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and hosted by South Suffolk MP with contributions from Mid Norfolk MP and Transport Minister George Freeman.

Leaders of Norfolk and Suffolk counties and Ipswich and Norwich councils were also there as the region put on a united front in a bid to get much needed investment.

They came up with a list of 12 projects that they wanted to see developed over the next few years in a bid to keep East Anglia moving and contributing to the national economy.

These included improving the Ely north rail junction to increase the number of trains that could use it, getting on with the dualling of the A47 from Norwich to the Midlands, and ensuring Highways England included making improvements to the A14 in Suffolk in their next five-year road improvement strategy.

Mr Cartlidge said: "We understand that there is an emphasis on doing work in the north of England and Midlands, especially with the large number of new government MPs coming from there - but East Anglia is a net contributor to the Treasury and the work that is done here will help to keep the country moving."

Mr Freeman said that vision, a strong business plan and partnership were all needed to deliver smart growth across the area: "We can be the poster child for how we deliver these projects - we must make sure we show a clear delivery mechanism, the ability to match public and private investment and showcase our key sectors."

The Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk sets out clear ambitions to deliver 88,000 net new jobs and 30,000 new businesses by 2036.

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Doug Field, Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: "We all want Norfolk and Suffolk to achieve its potential and drive clean and inclusive growth. We are pleased to see such support here to hear about these priorities which will deliver what we need to drive forward the ambitions in our economic strategy."

At the summit 40 regional and national stakeholders heard details of 12 key priority projects which will enable productivity gains and clean, inclusive growth for those living, working and learning in the region.

The 12 projects highlighted were:

· Ely and east-west rail connectivity

· A47 dualling and junction improvements

· Improved mobile connectivity including 5G

· Fibre To The Premises

· Local energy solutions to address lack of grid connectivity

· Sustainable transport to support Sizewell C

· Strategic water planning for future sustainability

· Local benefit from projects on the Norfolk and Suffolk Energy Coast

· Haughley junction and Trowse swing bridge improvements on the Great Eastern Main Line

· Funding for Norwich through the Transforming Cities Fund

· A14, A47, A11 and A12 improvements by 2025 and A47 full dualling

· Support and funding for Transport East to develop mthe regional evidence base for local schemes

Doug Field, Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partners

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