The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed the Government’s Green Paper on a new Industrial Strategy. The new strategy, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, is based on 10 ‘pillars’ to help enable all parts of the country to succeed: helping to deliver a high-skilled, competitive economy that benefits people throughout the UK, including investing in science, research and innovation, developing skills, upgrading infrastructure and supporting businesses to start and grow.
The announcement coincided with the opening of the new Leaf Systems building on Norwich Research Park by Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. The new business is a spin out from the John Innes Centre, one of the main institutes on the park, and aims to develop vaccines from plants. It is the first new building to open since Norwich Research Park was awarded Enterprise Zone status as part of the LEP’s 10-site, region-wide Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone.
Mr Johnson then went on to join a round table discussion with members of the New Anglia LEP board and other business and education leaders from Suffolk and Norfolk, commenting that the theme of place goes all the way through the new strategy, adding that Government needs to work with local areas, and LEPs are increasingly effective in bringing together different partners from business, education and research institutes.
Speaking after the discussion, Chris Starkie, Managing Director of New Anglia LEP, said: “We welcome the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and its localised approach to creating an environment for economic success, through aligning the skills of the next generation of workers with the demands of industry, improvements to infrastructure and the development of closer relationships with businesses small and large. The East offers a unique set of opportunities for economic growth and prosperity, and we look forward to working with Government to make the most of the opportunities the future will offer.
“We’re also delighted to welcome the second building onto our multi-site Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone. With a simplified approach to planning and discounted business rates, Enterprise Zones offer the perfect environment for new ventures like this to thrive. Leaf Systems will provide exactly the kind of highly skilled jobs vital for both the new Industrial Strategy and the East’s economy to succeed.”
Mr Starkie went on to comment on how the LEP’s work on its new Economic Strategy would relate to today’s announcement:
“This strategy has at its heart a recognition that people, places and sectors hold the key to future economic success. We support that view. Businesses exist in places, and cannot flourish and reach their potential without the right infrastructure, people and economic environment.
“We have begun the process of developing a new Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk which will be closely aligned to the Government’s Industrial Strategy. We believe our unique position in combining the voice of business with local authority partners and national government means we are well placed to deliver on its ambition to drive productivity and growth in the East.”
On Skills: “The New Anglia Skills Board is working to produce a series of Sector Skills Plans to bring colleges and universities together with industry, to ensure the next generation of workers are given the skills and training they need to help our business compete and win on a global stage. Sector Skills Plans for Construction and Health and Social Care have already been signed, with ICT, Food and Agri-tech, Energy, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Finance and Insurance, Life Sciences and Biotech, Ports and Logistics and Tourism and Culture to follow. We are also investing in world class facilities, such as the UK’s first purposed-built Aviation Skills Academy, the perfect example of how public-private partnership can deliver the right education for specific industry needs.”
On Innovation: “The LEP’s Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone offers sector-specific sites across Norfolk and Suffolk, creating the environment for new and expanding businesses to thrive.
Leaf Systems which was officially opened by Mr Johnson today (23rd) is housed on the Norwich Research Park, one of the EZ’s ten sites, while the Growth Deal Funded King’s Lynn Innovation Centre is already home to 11 businesses. Elsewhere, the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre is now an integral part of the tech cluster based around BT’s Research and Development Headquarters in Martlesham.”
On Infrastructure: “Our Local Transport Body is able to look at the potential economic benefits of infrastructure projects at regional level. This has allowed the LEP to invest funds from our Growth Deal with Government to successfully make the case for Lowestoft’s Third River Crossing and the Upper Orwell Crossings in Ipswich – projects which are now going ahead with a combined investment of £151m from central government. A further study for the A12 Suffolk Energy Gateway received funding in the Autumn statement.
Our Growth Deal with government is funding projects across our two counties – including transport improvements for the A11 in Norfolk, Ipswich town centre and Bury St Edmunds Eastern Relief Road – to further unlock economic development and get business moving.”
Notes to editors:
Further information on the Government’s Industrial Strategy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/developing-a-modern-industrial-strategy
Further information on the LEP’s Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone can be found here: http://newanglia.co.uk/enterprise-zones/