Boost for major employer in town

The Cefas marine science site in Pakefield.Picture: James Bass

The Cefas marine science site in Pakefield.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

One of Lowestoft's biggest employers received a boost in the chancellor's statement which will secure its future in the town.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) will receive £5million funding to improve its headquarters in Pakefield.

There was also a promise for further consideration of its funding requirements following the completion of a five-year plan to renovate the site and increase profits.

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said: 'The government made a commitment to help us deliver a new crossing for Lowestoft and this announcement is further evidence of their support for the scheme. Our MP, Peter Aldous deserves credit for his work in pressing government for backing and this enables the reality of a crossing to move a step closer.

'Cefas is a hugely important organisation for Lowestoft and following confirmation earlier in the year that they would be remaining in the town, this latest investment underlines their commitment to the town. Cefas is a scientific base which puts Lowestoft on the map and the jobs they provide are an important part of our local economy.'

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Tom Karsten, chief executive of Cefas, said: 'This is good news for Cefas and our Lowestoft based staff. The £5m announced today means that we will be able to renovate our site and support the continued development of our marine science activity in the UK and internationally.'

In February the prime minister announced funding would be provided to redevelop the centre after there were fears that the marine research organisation could leave the town.

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The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) site had been undergoing a review and there were fears the site could move out of the town as the building is in need of major renovation. The science base provides high-level research into areas such as fisheries management, climate change and marine biodiversity.

The centre has been based in Pakefield since 1955 and employs over 400 people.

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