Sustained growth over a decade in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone has created more than 2,000 skilled jobs and secured £246 million in investment with the support of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and local authority partners.
Enterprise Zones are part of the UK Government’s wider growth plans assisting local businesses in their development and enabling economic prosperity in key areas. In 2012 Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone was established to create jobs, attract businesses, develop land and improve infrastructure.
Figures released to mark a decade of success show the sites have supported the delivery of 2,031 skilled jobs and an additional 824 construction jobs, 83 businesses, 43.5 hectares of land ready for development and 56,397m2 floorspace. The LEP and partners also attracted £180 million public and £66 million private capital investment.
The Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone focuses on growing energy-related businesses and creating high skilled jobs. The six commercial sites in the zone are South Denes and Beacon Park in Great Yarmouth, and Mobbs Way, Riverside Road, South Lowestoft Industrial Estate and Ellough Business Park in the Lowestoft area.
One of the businesses on Mobbs Way is Tick Solutions which designs and produces office furniture. Owner Martin Murkett says: “We moved into the Enterprise Zone in September 2014 and for the first five years we had zero business rates. Other benefits are access to grant funding, business advice and network opportunities through the LEP.
“We’ve just recruited an additional team member, and this role is to compound and support the growth to date and consolidate a platform for further development.”
Commenting on the Enterprise Zone’s successful first decade and its future plans, LEP Chair C-J Green, says: “This is a milestone for Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, and surrounding areas. We will continue to maximise job growth, economic development, energy sector innovation and skills training. There are excellent opportunities in this area, and we want the clean energy sector to flourish in Norfolk and Suffolk.
“Enterprise Zones are dedicated areas where businesses can focus on expanding with the best possible support. Also, generated business rates are reinvested in the area which contrasts with normal arrangements where half is paid to central Government.”
An estimated £50 billion is due to be invested in the East of England energy sector in the next 20 years and these Enterprise Zone sites are perfectly positioned to benefit from the opportunities this will bring. Work is already underway on a new Operations and Maintenance Campus in Great Yarmouth to support the offshore energy industry and is due to be completed by the end of 2023.
In addition to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, there are ten other development sites across Norfolk and Suffolk that make up the LEP’s Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone covering locations such as Bury St Edmunds, King’s Lynn and a number of sites around the Norwich and Ipswich areas.
Across Norfolk and Suffolk, strong and effective partnerships between the LEP and district and county local authorities have enabled reinvestment of retained rates, delivered commercial sites through new infrastructure, assisted businesses and supply chains, boosted innovation and enhanced skills.
Key sectors identified for Norfolk and Suffolk Enterprise Zones include agri-tech, food and health, offshore energy, the green economy, ICT and digital creative sectors, professional services and advanced engineering. These are all primarily sectors in which the region has a competitive advantage and align with the focus of the Economic Strategy.