More than 3,300 jobs could be created and 200 new businesses supported through a strategic five-year plan aimed at generating investment in Norfolk and Suffolk’s Enterprise Zones.
New business incubation hubs, innovation centres and office and hotel developments are among the projects that will drive commercial development at these key locations, according to a report published today by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.
These new centres of activity will be connected into the wider innovation, science and research network to help enhance the ecosystem of high-growth, high-value businesses in the region.
The Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone recently marked its fifth anniversary, while the Great Yarmouth & Lowestoft Enterprise Zone was awarded its status in 2012. Between them, they cover 16 commercial sites and the business rates retained over their lifetime total £200m, much of which is being reinvested into infrastructure and marketing to accelerate development.
Latest figures in the plan show that 4,454 jobs have been created and 199 businesses supported to date. In addition, 116ha of land has been unlocked for development and the sites have leveraged more than £490m of public and private investment. New Anglia LEP continues to work closely in partnership with local authorities, landowners and developers to help accelerate investment and development opportunities.
Julian Munson, Head of Enterprise Zones & Innovation at the LEP, says the aim of the plan was to reposition Enterprise Zones to drive clean growth and innovation as part of wider strategic investment zones. This coupled with additional marketing would raise the profile of Enterprise Zones, unlocking further development potential and attracting new investment.
“Clean growth is the golden thread which runs through the Norfolk & Suffolk Local Industrial Strategy and Enterprise Zones can play a critical role in our drive to Net Zero,” he says.
“This plan supports a number of activities and projects aimed at repositioning these zones for clean growth through encouraging low carbon, low impact developments, and alternative local energy sources, and supporting greener business practices in key sectors.”
Growing businesses and international inward investors have been supported by Enterprise Zones, including Amazon, food supplier LDH (La Doria), and flavour and fragrance manufacturer Treatt. Major commercial developments have been completed at several sites, including Futura Park and Princes Street in Ipswich and Norwich Research Park.
The locations are all in the Priority Places identified in the Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk. These include the A11 and A14 corridors, key coastal locations like Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and King’s Lynn, and urban areas such as Greater Norwich and Ipswich.
A new 80,000 sq ft refrigeration factory for one of the UK’s leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of commercial cooling equipment, has recently been completed at Futura Park, Ipswich.
Hubbard Products’ energy-efficient building (EPC rating A) has been designed to provide modern production and warehouse space, a two-storey office block, 150 car parking spaces for staff and visitors with electric vehicle (EV) charging points and cycle parking.
The business hopes to expand its 170-strong workforce by nearly 50% over the next four years. This is good news for Futura Park and the local job market at a time when a reported 55% of manufacturing firms in the UK have workers furloughed.
Ilias Katsoulis, CEO of Hubbard Products, says: “The factory will generate new value for Hubbard’s ‘blue-chip’ customers as well as the local community, providing advanced products and job opportunities for the next four years and beyond.”
Scottow Enterprise Park is located on the former RAF Coltishall base in Norfolk and has a diverse range of space, from large hangars to container storage, warehouses, workshops and offices. Since the 64-acre site was established there as part of the Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone, it has supported 74 new businesses and 397 new jobs.
Ben Thompson, sales and account manager at CH Wine Merchants, (pictured above left with director Robert Harrison) says companies operating from Scottow benefit from being part of a hub with other businesses and the opportunities that can bring.
“I think the best thing about Scottow Enterprise Park is the community. There are so many great businesses that are incredibly varied. It feels like a community, and we have met some great people through this is well.”
The small firm has moved through different premises at Scottow, something that has enabled it to grow. Ben says rent is reasonable, there is business support is available, and continuous on-site security provides peace of mind when the offices are unoccupied.
Ben adds: “We would highly recommend Scottow Enterprise Park to anyone thinking of setting up or moving here. We are just really pleased we got in when we did and long may it continue.”
To read the report and find out more about business premises available at Enterprise Zone sites, go to https://newanglia.co.uk/enterprise-zones