Coastal projects to benefit from Growth Deal Funding

Two major projects which will change the face of Norfolk and Suffolk’s coastline are set to benefit from £2.48m from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growth Deal with Government.

Capital Growth funding of £1.4m towards a new headquarters for the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Lowestoft and £1.08m towards The Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Scheme in Norfolk was approved by the LEP’s board today.

£1.4m provides the final piece of funding for a £16m redevelopment at Cefas in Lowestoft, replacing existing Victorian, 1930s and 1940s buildings to create a leading centre for applied science, comprising brand new office facilities and refurbished laboratories.

The project will provide Cefas with annual capital and running cost savings of £2m, greatly enhance its scientific collaboration and innovation workspace and secure the Centre’s presence in the region for the next 40 years. In addition to the 450 staff who currently work at Cefas, the project will also provide 50 immediate subcontractor jobs. The project is due to be completed by March 2019.

The Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Scheme is an up to £20m public/private partnership project to protect the Bacton Gas Terminal and nearby villages of Bacton and Walcott from coastal erosion. Using the innovative Dutch ‘Sandscaping’ method, up to 1.8m cubic metres of sand will be placed on the beach to protect the area’s sea defences from damage.

The project will support 230 businesses and £51 million of annual GVA, safeguarding one-third of the UK’s gas supply and protecting 222 homes along the north Norfolk coast. Work is expected to start in spring 2019.

The two projects are the first successful applicants following a £9m Capital Growth Programme call announced at the October 2017 LEP Board meeting. Both have been subject to a rigorous appraisal process, in accordance with HM Treasury Green Book principles of viability, value for money, achievability, affordability and need, and in addition for their alignment to the principles of the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy.

Doug Field, Chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Both these projects provide excellent value for money in terms of the growth and resilience they provide within our economy. Bacton is a vital hub in the UK’s energy infrastructure, while Cefas is a key part of our world-class Life Sciences cluster here in the East. Both align strongly with the aims of the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy and I’m delighted that our board has approved Growth Deal funding.”

Tom Karsten, Cefas Chief Executive said: “Our thanks to New Anglia LEP for the £1.4m of capital support provided to this project which secures the total £16m necessary for the renewal of Cefas’ Lowestoft Laboratory and Headquarters.  This joint investment will now deliver an exciting new era of world class science for the marine and freshwater environment from our East Anglian base in Lowestoft.”

Cllr John Lee, North Norfolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Coastal Management, said: “This is a key piece of funding in the delivery of an innovative and exciting project which has the potential to provide great benefit to this section of coastline and the communities which live along it.

“North Norfolk District Council is delighted at the LEP decision and for their welcome comments about value for money and resilience.”

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