Lowestoft's quiet revolution is hailed
LOWESTOFT is faring much better than many other towns in the recession and businesses are looking forward with a great deal of confidence.Linda Thornton, chair of the Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce, said there had been encouraging signs from across the business community.
LOWESTOFT is faring much better than many other towns in the recession and businesses are looking forward with a great deal of confidence.
Linda Thornton, chair of the Lowestoft and Waveney Chamber of Commerce, said there had been encouraging signs from across the business community.
'We have been receiving excellent reports from town centre traders and it is evident the town centre is buzzing again. Estate agents are reporting house prices holding steady and that sales are increasing in the Lowestoft area all the time,' she said.
Ms Thornton also pointed out the new businesses being attracted to the Lowestoft and Waveney area especially in the offshore energy sector.
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'It is wonderful to see the work going on at Lowestoft docks and companies moving in to the Orbis Centre,' she said.
The ongoing work on the east coast has been recognised as the most enterprising project in the region, and the organisation behind it will now represent the east of England in the final of this year's Enterprising Britain competition.
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Set up in 1982 to help combat the effects of large-scale redundancies in Lowestoft, Norfolk and Waveney Enterprise Services (NWES) has now grown into one of the country's largest and most successful enterprise agencies.
It has now won through after the East of England Development Agency (Eeda) launched a region wide search to find projects where enterprise has helped transform a community's fortunes and where entrepreneurial partnership has helped secure a prosperous future for the local area.
Over the past five years in Lowestoft, NWES has helped 217 new businesses start life and has held more than 4,700 advice sessions.
'What is happening in Lowestoft is special,' said chief executive Kevin Horne.
'It's a quiet revolution, not as a result of some massive new factory being built or a huge government handout but due to a dedicated group of people building change from the bottom up.
'All the ingredients are in place in Lowestoft if you wish to start up or grow your business - a variety of premises on easy terms, independent and impartial free advice, excellent training and access to finance. As a result, Lowestoft is 'growing its own' and is encouraging enterprise from cradle to grave.
'Lowestoft stands as a true example to others of what can be done with goodwill, determination and hard work. Lowestoft is the enterprise capital of the East.'
Sheila Childerhouse, chairman of the regional judging panel said: 'The judges felt that NWES is a shining example of an enterprising project and a worthy regional winner with excellent potential to do well at the national finals.'
NWES will now represent the east of England in the Enterprising Britain competition final, which is being organised by the Make Your Mark Campaign on behalf of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
The UK winner will go on to compete in the European Enterprise Awards at the end of the year.