Leaders from industry and local government have pledged to work even more closely together to secure improvements to infrastructure for Norfolk and Suffolk, following a visit to the region from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC).
Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt CBE, and Commissioner, Professor Sir Tim Besley CBE, lead a delegation to the International Aviation Academy-Norwich on Wednesday 28 November, to discuss priorities for improving infrastructure and generating economic growth across the East in the coming decades.
The National Infrastructure Commission provides expert, impartial advice to government on infrastructure. It is currently touring the country to discuss its recently published National Infrastructure Assessment. The first of its kind for the UK, the report analyses the UK’s long-term economic infrastructure needs, outlines a strategic vision over the next 30 years and sets out recommendations on how the identified needs should be met. The Government has 12 months to publish its formal response to the Assessment.
Hosted by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the meeting included representatives of local authorities from across Norfolk and Suffolk, business organisations and sectors including energy, ports and logistics, digital and ICT and construction. Delegates set priorities for future work including:
- Work towards full digital connectivity across Norfolk and Suffolk
- Deliver a more efficient and varied energy generation and storage network, ensuring local as well as wider benefits are realised
- Continue to develop collaboration across public/private sectors
- Develop a consistent message for the East’s infrastructure offer and needs
- Respond to National Infrastructure Assessment through local MP engagement
Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of New Anglia LEP said: “Having the right infrastructure in place is vital to achieving our ambitions for economic growth and prosperity in Norfolk and Suffolk. It’s also crucial that our two counties see the benefit of the contribution we make to the UK in terms of energy production, digital infrastructure and food security.”
“We were delighted to welcome Sir John and his team and benefit from their insight as we continue to make the case for infrastructure investment in the East. We look forward to building on our relationship in the future.
Sir John Armitt CBE, Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “From rolling out full-fibre broadband to investing in better public transport, the Commission’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment proposes a suite of measures that could enhance the lives of residents and business-owners in Norfolk and Suffolk.
“I have been impressed by the enthusiasm of local leaders for improving the area’s infrastructure and it’s great to have their backing as we build support for putting our recommendations into practice. “One element that is particularly exciting for this part of the world is our vision for a future energy system that is far more reliant on renewable sources. With the East already playing an important role in the production of green energy, this could bring more jobs and investment opportunities to the region.”
For more information about the National Infrastructure Commission and to read the National Infrastructure Assessment, visit www.nic.org.uk.