Nearly 5,400 skilled jobs have been created at Enterprise Zone sites across Norfolk and Suffolk and £893 million investment secured working with local authority partners, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has announced.
New figures released at today’s LEP’s Board meeting show a steady uplift in jobs created since 2022. Since the start of the two Enterprise Zones in 2011 and 2017, partners have supported the delivery of 5,386 skilled jobs (up from 4,934 in 2022), 223 businesses, 157 hectares of commercial development land and just under 3 million sq ft of floorspace. A further 4,500 construction jobs were created while commercial spaces were developed and refurbished.
Enterprise Zones (EZ) have been particularly beneficial for new and expanding firms. The LEP launched Space to Innovate EZ six years ago, and the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft EZ is now in its twelfth year. Since then, Government has paid £9.6 million EZ relief and £21.4 million of retained business rates income, which have been split across the two counties to invest in the local economy.
The 16 sites on the zones include Scottow Enterprise Park and Norwich Research Park in Norfolk, and Suffolk and Futura Park in Suffolk.
A business which has thrived on one of the sites is Creating Adventurous Places (CAP.Co), which designs and creates sustainable attractions and places to stay. It first moved on to Scottow Enterprise Park in March 2020 and in the past three years the team has grown from four to 24 people in Norfolk and beyond.
Johnny Lyle, ‘Attention Seeker’ at CAP.Co, says: “Our time at Scottow has been great and having no business rates has been a real help for the business and allowed us to grow and develop the business. The team at Scottow has been exceptionally flexible and really supported us in our time here. We moved in April 2021 to our current bigger unit, and it felt like we had a lot of help in ensuring we secured the unit we needed to allow space for our growth.
“The business is still expanding and improving efficiencies within the workshop operation. Many of our team work remotely and are spread as far and wide as Sweden, Glasgow, Bristol, and Wirral, as well as Norfolk.
“Within the last 12 months, we’ve created new adventure play attractions at Belvoir Castle. Burghley House, Blenheim Palace and the new Adventure play at Windsor Great Park which opened last week. It was this huge job for Windsor that was the reason we invested in getting a unit and pre-fabricating much more of what we installed. Previously, almost everything we built was created on site.”
Businesses and international inward investors supported across the EZ sites include LDH (La Doria) Ltd, Amazon, Treatt, MH Star, Unipart, NHS Quadram, Proserv, Seajacks, BH Bus, Leaf Systems, Birketts, The Range, Evri and Greene King.
In 2021, Treatt relocated to a 112,000 sq ft purpose-built global headquarters, home to state-of-the-art offices, manufacturing, logistical and warehouse facilities.
Jo Mapston, Interim Chief People Officer at Treatt, says: “Having been headquartered in the town since 1971, our Suffolk Park site brought over 200 UK personnel together to a science-led facility, delivering automated production and increased efficiencies.
“Being at the heart of a growing enterprise zone enables Treatt to showcase our science-led innovation and technical capabilities, attracting highly skilled talent across a range of professions whilst delivering world-class ingredients to flavour and fragrance houses, beverage manufacturers and FMCG companies across the globe.”
A pipeline of future developments planned over the next three years includes the creation of a new accelerator and grow-on space at Norwich Research Park, the further development of Nar Ouse at Kings Lynn and the construction of warehouse and logistics units at Gateway 14 in Stowmarket, which is also a designated Freeport East site.
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 Norfolk and Suffolk have a competitive advantage and that align with the region’s Economic Strategy.