Our Chief Executive Chris Starkie looks back on a busy, successful year:
“It doesn’t seem like nearly a year ago that Government announced our Growth Deal Three allocation of £69m – taking our total allocation to £290m to spend locally on projects to create jobs, support businesses and boost skills.
Of course the proof of the pudding is in delivery and we’ve seen that in spades with the opening of the first section of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road and the Eastern Relief Road in Bury St Edmunds.
Perhaps the most iconic project of the year was delivered through the Growing Places Fund – £5m in loan funding to redevelop the ‘Winerack’ in Ipswich. This infamous building has stood unfinished for over a decade, so it’s great to be kick-starting work that will create new homes and jobs as part of the Ipswich Vision and a really exciting joint investment with the Homes and Communities Agency.
This summer, we celebrated a major milestone, as our business support programmes passed the £20m mark – a significant achievement and something we’re very proud of.
Development continues apace on our Enterprise Zones. Only last month the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, took a tour of the New Proserv headquarters at Beacon Park on Great Yarmouth – part-funded with £1.5m from our Growing Places Fund. In his words – one of the country’s most successful Enterprise Zones.
Our team has grown and we’ve welcome two new board members in Dominic Keen and Sandy Ruddock. We paid a fond farewell to Mark Pendlington who stood down after three years as chairman. We all owe a great deal to Mark, for the time and passion he dedicated to the LEP.
Doug Field took up the baton in October and has already set us on a great path to continue to grow and deliver next year.
On behalf of all the team at the LEP, I’d like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”