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NWES makes its mark in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 09:21 11 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:05 06 July 2010

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.

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.

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, both socially and economically, 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. It has also helped stop the decline in business formation rates and VAT-registered companies. NWES has assisted wider economic growth in Lowestoft through the creation and support of businesses. Services they offer include advice and support, training, loan funds and managed workspaces.

“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: “Throughout its 27 years' existence, NWES has nurtured hundreds of east of England businesses by providing support and expertise for start-up and established businesses.

“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.

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