Westminster calling

MPs and business leaders joined representatives from across Norfolk and Suffolk to pledge to work together to drive an infrastructure revolution across the two counties.

The infrastructure summit, on Wednesday 5th February, at the Houses of Parliament was organised by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, with Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils. The event was hosted by James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk.

Forty regional and national stakeholders heard details of 12 key priority projects which will enable productivity gains and clean, inclusive growth for those living, working and learning in the region.

The 12 projects highlighted were:

  • Ely and east-west rail connectivity
  • A47 dualling and junction improvements
  • Improved mobile connectivity including 5G
  • Fibre To The Premises
  • Local energy solutions to address lack of grid connectivity
  • Sustainable transport to support Sizewell C
  • Strategic water planning for future sustainability
  • Local benefit from projects on the Norfolk and Suffolk Energy Coast
  • Haughley and Trowse improvements on the Great Eastern Main Line
  • Funding for Norwich through the Transforming Cities Fund
  • A14, A47, A11 and A12 improvements by 2025 and A47 full dualling
  • Support and funding for Transport East to develop mthe regional evidence base for local schemes

Doug Field, Chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We all want Norfolk and Suffolk to achieve its potential and drive clean and inclusive growth.

“We are pleased to see such support here to hear about these priorities which will deliver what we need to drive forward the ambitions in our economic strategy.”

James Cartlidge MP said: “We must work together to ensure levelling up includes Norfolk and Suffolk. We are a net contributor to the UK economy so through investment in the region, the Government gets a bigger return.

“The region’s new place brand, Norfolk & Suffolk Unlimited, allows us to market the area better to attract investment and compete for funding.”

Transport Minister George Freeman, MP for South Norfolk, said that vision, a strong business plan and partnership are all needed to deliver smart growth across the area. “We can be the poster child for how we deliver these projects – we must make sure we show a clear delivery mechanism, the ability to match public and private investment and showcase our key sectors,” he said.

The Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk sets out clear ambitions to deliver 88,000 net new jobs and 30,000 new businesses by 2036. It pledges that local private and public sector partners will work together to explore innovative approaches to funding and finance, driving returns on investment in infrastructure.

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