Norfolk and suffolk economic strategy

Icon Red diamond

Thank you to all those who responded to our recent consultation. We received an overwhelming response, with more than 400 separate comments and suggestions.

The document – the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy – is an ambitious blueprint for the UK’s clean growth region and sets out our ambition for the region.

It will be presented to the LEP board for final approval in late January 2021. The Strategy, a detailed evidence base and an executive summary will be published on our website once approved.

The strategy sets out our ambition for Norfolk and Suffolk:

‘Our ambition is to transform our economy into a globally recognised, technology-driven and inclusive economy which is leading the transition to a zero-carbon economy through sustainable food production, clean energy generation and consumption and digital innovation; becoming one of the best places in the world to live, work, learn and succeed in business.’

We recognise this will not be achieved by one partner alone, or by any single strand of investment or action. We have always been most successful when we work together for the benefit of those who live, work, learn in and visit Norfolk and Suffolk. The actions in this strategy will help lead us out of these challenging circumstances and deliver on our region’s potential.

Local partners across business, business support organisations, local authorities, public health, education providers and VCSE have come together to agree this strategy and are all committed to:

  • Collaborating – to secure and aligning investment and actions to build a cleaner, more inclusive, and productive economy.
  • Inspiring – the next generation, current workforces, businesses, VCSE organisations and communities to innovate, embrace automation and clean growth through strong collaborative leadership.
  • Innovating – exploiting our expertise and innovation capabilities to pioneer solutions to the major challenges facing the world in the 21st century. Ensuring we capitalise locally on the application and diffusion of this innovation and the emerging growth opportunities.
  • Investing – in people, sustainable infrastructure, innovation, social and environmental value, health and wellbeing, leveraging more investment to deliver on our ambitions.

The new Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy builds on the Covid-19 Economic Recovery Restart Plan published in 2020 and replaces the Economic Strategy published in 2017 and the Local Industrial Strategy published in 2019.

The context

The economic context continues to evolve – with the impact of the pandemic, the exit for the EU, acceleration of digitisation and addressing climate change the main drivers.

Despite the challenges of the past year, from an economic strategy perspective Norfolk and Suffolk is in a strong position. The Economic Strategy, Local Industrial Strategy and the Restart Plan all provide a strong foundation to build on and partners have pledged to work together to transform our growing economy into one of the best places in the world to live, work, learn and succeed in business.

Important as it is to repair economic damage, a quick return to business as usual could be environmentally harmful and a missed opportunity.

The economic slowdown, following the 2008 financial crisis, saw a reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.

But this didn’t last long. Emissions reached a record high not long after, in part because measures implemented to stimulate economies had limited regard for the environmental consequences.

It is important that we do what we can to ensure the same pattern doesn’t repeat itself.

A climate positive recovery could not only bring about significant emissions reductions but also create more jobs and economic growth than a high-carbon economy.

This will be a central focus for the Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Strategy.