New Anglia Board Meeting Minutes (Unconfirmed)
24th November 2021
Kathy Atkinson (KA)
Valeo Snack Foods
Claire Cullens (CC)
Norfolk Community Foundation
Stuart Dark (SD)
King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council
David Ellesmere (DE)
Ipswich Brough Council
C-J Green (CJG)
Brave Goose
John Griffiths (JG)
West Suffolk Council
Matthew Hicks (MH)
Suffolk County Council
Pete Joyner (PJ)
Shorthose Russell
Dominic Keen (DK)
Helen Langton (HL)
University of Suffolk
Corrienne Peasgood (CP)
Norwich City College
Andrew Proctor (AP)
Norfolk County Council
Johnathan Reynolds (JR)
Alan Waters (AW)
Norwich City Council
Brian Bowen (BB)
GCB Cocoa - For Item 2
James Ives (JI)
Shan Lloyd (SL)
Mark Ash (MA)
Suffolk County Council
Chris Dashper (CD)
New Anglia LEP - For Item 7
David Dukes (DD)
New Anglia LEP - For Item 6
Chris Starkie (CS)
New Anglia LEP
Rosanne Wijnberg (RW)
New Anglia LEP
Helen Wilton (HW)
New Anglia LEP
Actions from the meeting: (24.11.21)
Inward Investment Delivery Plan 21/22 Progress Report
New Anglia LEP Business Landscaping report produced by Hatch to be circulated to board
Welcome from the Chair
CJ Green (CJG) welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Presentation from Brian Bowen, General Manger, GCB Cocoa
Chris Starkie (CS) introduced Brian Bowen (BB), site manager for GCB Cocoa in Glemsford and
provided an overview of the support provided to the company by the Norfolk and Suffolk Inward
Investment team in identifying a suitable site and assisting in the move.
BB, the former site manager for Philips Avent, gave the board a presentation detailing the history of
GCB Cocoa which was formed in 1982 and began by buying and selling cocoa beans before working
directly with the growers to secure crop purchases and investing in their local communities to establish
long term relationships.
The company is the 4th largest in the world and the largest in Asia and processes raw beans which are
then sold in the constituent parts to other buyers including chocolate producers.
The plant in Glemsford will be a chocolate processing plant initially producing 8000 tonnes per annum
with the plant having a long term capacity of 75000 tonnes. It will also process beans into chocolate
powder to be being sold to other manufacturers.
The 3rd phase will process the beans to produce the mass, shell and liquor available for use in the
chocolate production process.
The whole project equates to an £95m investment in the UK funding for which is being agreed on a
50:50 basis with high street banks.
BB confirmed that the production environment will produce over 250 jobs with further roles in sales,
health & safety and other support roles.
Due to the pandemic the owners have finally been able to visit the site for the first time and BB
advised that the planning phase is continuing with work on site due to start in January 2022.
CJG thanked BB for his presentation and BB left the meeting.
Apologies were received from Jeanette Wheeler
Declarations of Interest
Johnathan Reynolds (JR) note that Opergy is involved with Hydrogen East and Freeport East,
both of which are mentioned in the Chief Executives report.
Helen Langton (HL) advised that she has been appointed to the Board of Advanced Higher
Actions/Minutes from the last Meeting
The minutes were accepted as a true record of the meeting held on 20th October 2021.
CJG reviewed the action log and confirmed all items been updated.
Inward Investment Delivery Plan 21/22 Progress Report
Inward Investment Manager, David Dukes (DD), provided the board with an overview of the
key successes of the Norfolk and Suffolk Inward Investment team since it was set up 2 years
DD noted the success of establishing Adastral Park as a High Potential Opportunity (HPO)
and advised that the second HPO is close to being finalised and should be completed this
The team works closely with the DIT and as a result more and better quality inward
investment enquiries are being received in particular around ICT and Agri-food.
DD confirmed that over 2 years more than 150 enquiries have been received with 52 currently
active and the number of enquires has increased in the face of an overall national decrease.
Partnership working with district and county colleagues has been a priority and is working well
to understand the business base in both counties.
John Griffiths (JG) thanked the team for their work and asked if there was anything else the
districts could do to provide further support.
DD noted the success of West Suffolk Council in working with local companies and reiterated
that close partnership working was key to attracting investment.
Dominic Keen (DK) asked about the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on investment. DD
advised that remote working allowed staff from around the world to work for local companies
however the reverse was also true and the ability of employees based here to work outside of
Norfolk and Suffolk has brought recruitment challenges.
CJG asked how Norfolk and Suffolk were bucking the trend in volumes of enquiries.
DD confirmed that our key sectors of agri-food and offshore energy remained strong as does
the attraction of locating along the A14 corridor.
CS noted that the close relationship between the team and the DIT is also a key element of
the successes achieved.
ACTION: New Anglia LEP Business Landscaping report produced by Hatch to be circulated
to board members
The Board agreed:
• To note the content of the report
New Anglia LEP Future Options - Confidential
New Anglia LEP Programme Evaluation Action Plan
Chris Dashper (CD) presented the recommendations compiled following the programme
evaluation and noted that some had already been implemented where possible.
CD advised that some will be used in future schemes as it is not appropriate to apply them to
programmes which are closing shortly.
The Board agreed:
• To note the content of the report
• To accept the implementation of the recommendations as detailed in the Programme
Evaluation action plan
Chief Executive’s Report
CS confirmed that all 4 bids to the Community Renewal Fund submitted by the LEP were
successful and that work is continuing in preparation for applications to the Shared Prosperity
CS thanked all those who had attended the session on the Renewal Plan which was very
constructive. Work is continuing on the plan and the document will be be submitted to the
board in January 2022.
CC highlighted the impact achieved by the VCSE fund noting that it had been successful in
encouraging people to return to work and proposing that the fund could be used to encourage
people to return to the struggling hsopitality sector.
The Board agreed:
• To note the content of the report
New Anglia Capital Investment Update Report - Confidential
The Board agreed:
• To note the content of the report
November Performance Report
Rosanne Wijnberg presented the November Programme Performance Reports which were
reviewed by the board.
The Board agreed:
• To note the content of the report
Board Forward Plan
CJG presented for forward plan for the January 2022 meeting.
The Board agreed:
• To note the content of the plan
Any Other Business