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Lowestoft to become a university town?

PUBLISHED: 12:11 17 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:55 06 July 2010

AN ambitious new vision to shape the future of Waveney in the next 20 years could lead to Lowestoft becoming a university town and the green capital of the UK.

AN ambitious new vision to shape the future of Waveney in the next 20 years could lead to Lowestoft becoming a university town and the green capital of the UK.

They were just two of the key priorities being discussed for the district at a partnership event, which was hailed a success.

The Journal can today exclusively reveal that a new strategy will be unveiled and consultations held by Waveney District Council as a “refreshed and reshaped” Waveney Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) document for 2010 to 2031 is launched in October.

More than 80 people attended a successful visioning day at OrbisEnergy to discuss the new community strategy for the district.

And with the main focus of the day being on the district's strengths and the challenges it faces over the next 20 years, the event was held to establish what a successful Waveney would look like by 2031 - with the key things that would need to happen and change to achieve that also discussed.

The theme of the day was: “How to shape the future of the district to make it the place people choose to live and invest in.”

The outcomes from the day have now been collated and a telephone survey will be conducted along with interviews with key stakeholders.

“The aim is to establish the needs and aspirations of all residents and determine what they actually want to see happen,” a council spokesman said.

And in a snapshot look at what could lie in store for the future, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats were identified in Waveney.

Some of them included:

Waveney's strengths: strong sense of community; good quality of life, potential to be a university town; mainland Europe on the doorstep; pleasant environment; strong growth in the offshore/renewable energy sector.

Waveney's weaknesses: poor transport infrastructure; low aspirations/poor educational performance; health inequalities.

Waveney's opportunities: day and overnight tourism; offshore renewable energy business; university town; relatively low house prices.

Waveney's threats: isolation from the mainstream; an increasing elderly population; an increasingly unhealthy population; outward migration by younger, higher skilled residents.

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