Lowestoft, Harwich and Clacton in line for extra funding and tax breaks after clinching Assisted Area Status

Harwich

Harwich - Credit: Archant

Parts of Suffolk and Essex could be given a “shot in the arm” after winning a new status entitling them to extra funds and tax breaks.

Parts of the North Suffolk coast, Ipswich, Harwich and Clacton are among a number of parts of the country which have been designated with Assisted Area Status.

It is hoped that the move will help create jobs and encourage investment in new premises or machinery in the towns.

In December the Government published its draft map which included 21 wards in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. The final map includes these wards, but also includes four wards in Ipswich, including the town centre and much of the waterfront, as well as two in neighbouring Babergh.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Assisted Area status can be a shot in the arm for growth and jobs across the UK. It makes local businesses eligible to bid for additional funding and support that can help them to create jobs, invest in new premises or machinery, develop and grow.

“We listened carefully to local groups to identify places where regional aid can have the biggest impact and help to rebalance the economy. The regeneration of a range of industrial centres, coastal and urban areas has been given a boost today.”

Assisted Area status makes businesses eligible to apply for regional aid, which is typically offered as capital investment for businesses in less prosperous local economies. Programmes in England that offer regional aid include the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).

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Assisted Area status does not guarantee regional aid funding. Businesses in other parts of the country can still receive support, including RGF and AMSCI, for a wide range of projects.

The areas were chosen based on economic need and economic opportunity.

The towns were seen as places with the potential for business growth.

The new areas have to be rubber stamped by the European Commission, which is expected to take place on July 1.

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