Government gives go-ahead for New Anglia economic partnership
BUSINESS and civic leaders today welcomed the Government's decision to give the green light for New Anglia, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Norfolk and Suffolk.
The announcement means that the New Anglia team can continue its work firming up its proposal, developing priorities with stakeholders, a business plan and governance structures.
Today's decision has been welcomed by Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams and chair of Choose Suffolk and Peter Barry, managing director of Great-Yarmouth based Pasta Foods, who have both championed the LEP.
Mr Barry said: 'The proposal, written last month by business and civic leaders, built on the combined strengths of the two areas, to create a partnership that will unlock the enormous economic potential of New Anglia, creating thousands of private sector jobs.
This follows the Government inviting business and local authority leaders to develop proposals for Local Enterprise Partnerships to help.'
Mr Wood said: 'This is great news not only for the LEP proposal but for everyone in Suffolk and Norfolk.
It is a green light to continue working together and to face head on the challenges of bringing the economic aspirations of the two counties together.
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We will now move forward, continue the momentum we have and ensure we build together for the future economic success of New Anglia.'
Leader of Norfolk County Council Derrick Murphy said: 'Norfolk and Suffolk have many common strengths and challenges. The need for effective broadband coverage, up-skilling the workforce, off shore energy and tourism offer the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership a common set of objectives, which will unlock and enhance its economic potential.'
Leader of Suffolk County Council Jeremy Pembroke said: 'I very much welcome the confirmation from government that this business led, forward thinking proposal can become a reality. It is an exciting time for both Suffolk and Norfolk and the new anglia LEP will have a fundamental role in the future prosperity of our economy. We will ensure the momentum we have now continues.'
Dr Peter Funnell, president of Suffolk Chamber said: 'I am delighted that New Anglia: the LEP for Norfolk and Suffolk has been given the green light. The two County Chambers have worked hard with partners to ensure that a dynamic, exciting and challenging LEP proposal was submitted to Ministers for their consideration. Now the hard work truly begins. The New Anglia LEP is a real opportunity to develop a new economy in Norfolk and Suffolk which will reinforce the place of the East of England on the global economic map.'
Barry Dennis, president of Norfolk Chamber, added: 'The two Chambers in Norfolk and Suffolk will work alongside one another to ensure that there is true pan County coverage at a grass roots level, ensuring our members and wider business community are engaged in the next important phase of development - shaping the business plan that now needs to start in earnest.'
Robin Twigge, East Anglia regional chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses said: 'We are delighted with the news and to be involved and representing over 6000 FSB members. So often the small businesses are missed out on consultations, whilst making up over 55pc of the New Anglia Region. Now we are having a direct and influential input into the Economic Partnership in particular with relevance to the rural areas, again making up 80pc of the business community.
'This is huge progress towards working together and listening to the concerns of small businesses. We are excited about the urgent need to encourage both the development of new business and the continuation of all small business.'
Following the green light, New Anglia is now asking the 1.5 million people and 60,000 industries in the region to take three small steps to let them know what the priorities should be for the new business led body.
In a new and forward thinking approach to match its name, New Anglia has set up a website where any individual, group or business can log on, sign in and put forward and explain their priorities for the economic future of the region.
The new portal, which can be found at www.newanglia.co.uk allows visitors to register and leave their views on the priorities of starting up a new business, promoting innovation and skills for the future along with a number of other key issues for New Anglia.
'It is right that the new Local Enterprise Partnerships are business led.' said Andy Wood, Chief Executive of Adnams and Chairman of Choose Suffolk who has been a leading voice for New Anglia. 'As businesses we know that the number one priority is listening to our customers.'
'We want as many people as possible to access our portal and take three small steps; log on, sign in and tell us your priorities.' added Peter Barry the MD of Pasta Foods who along with Andy Wood has championed the cross county work.