£69 million growth deal for enterprise group serving West Norfolk

New Anglia LEP chairman Mark Pendlington
New Anglia LEP chairman Mark Pendlington
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The economy of West Norfolk could benefit from a share of almost £70 million in growth funding awarded to a regional business group.

Business zones and key transport infrastructure serving the borough are likely to see some of the £69 million growth deal package awarded to the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The award, which was announced by ministers on Thursday, takes the total funding awarded to the LEP to more than £290 million.

LEP chairman Mark Pendlington said: “This award recognises what we have achieved so far in creating new jobs, building new businesses and winning new investment.

“Our strengths make us uniquely placed to deliver our ambitions of powering the world with global all-energy expertise, feeding with world with world-leading agricultural research and connecting the world with international research and innovation in technology.”

The deal includes £12 million to set up an Enterprise Zone Accelerator fund, which is intended to create jobs across the region, including at the Nar Ouse enterprise zone on the edge of Lynn.

A further £15 million is intended to establish an innovation and productivity fund, with £22 million allocated to the LEP’s capital funding programme.

The growth deal announcement comes only days after the group stated its intention to provide £3.3 million of funding towards a study of the work needed to upgrade the Ely north rail junction.

The interchange, on which improvements have been delayed until at least 2019, is seen as crucial towards the long-sought expansion of rail services to and from West Norfolk.

The New Anglia allocation, which is part of a proposed £8.8 million package, was matched by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, which has now been awarded around £37 million in a separate growth deal.

It was also said to be subject both to board approval, which is expected next month, and the growth deal announcement.