Suffolk town centres to receive six figure boost in Covid recovery plan

Bury St Edmunds town centre during the third UK lockdown Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The latest projects in the Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund aim to boost footfall in high streets - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Town centres, retail pods and a community multimedia hub are projects to get a cash boost in the latest tranche of economic recovery grants from Suffolk chiefs.

The £1.6million Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund (SIGIF) announced last year is supporting projects across the county to help boost the economy and support town centre recovery from Covid-19.

Three projects have today been confirmed in the second wave of grants, totalling just over £367,000.

Innovation space for start up businesses, short term market stalls and pop-up innovation hubs will be created to boost town centre footfall in Eye, Sudbury, Hadleigh and Stowmarket, while the South Street Studios complex in Ipswich, which houses eight local firms, is getting support for delivering a wider arts programme, creating new jobs and supporting new entrants in the industry.

In West Suffolk, retail pods for start-ups are to be established in Brandon, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, Mildenhall and Haverhill to increase footfall, spend and dwell time in those town centres. 


Suffolk County Council's Nick Gowrley said the SIGIF cash will bring economic resilience - Credit: Suffolk County Council

Nick Gowrley, chairman of Suffolk’s joint Growth Portfolio Holders Group and Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for economic development, housing and enterprise, said: “I am pleased to announce a further investment of just over £367,000 to support Suffolk’s economic recovery from Covid-19 through round two of the Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund.

"This brings the total to over £717,000 allocated between December 2020 and March 2021.

"Throughout 2021 SIGIF investment will boost local economic resilience and through our partnership approach we are working with local areas to respond to what has been an extremely challenging year.”

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The fund was established with £650,000 from the pooled business rates allocated by Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group of council chief executives and leaders, alongside £1m from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

The Smokehouse, Ipswich, at South Street Studios. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

South Street Studios is getting support from the Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund - Credit: Archant

Tranche one funding announced in December included digital high street measures for Babergh and Mid Suffolk, and equipment funding for businesses taking on an apprentice in 2021, among others.

Projects are being sponsored either by the local authorities or the LEP, and aim to deliver much-needed economic recovery for the county following the severe financial impacts of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

The full £1.6m fund is set to be allocated by the end of September this year.

To find out more about the fund visit the website here.