Norfolk MPs’ commitment to promoting the county’s growth opportunities were rubber-stamped at a groundbreaking event hosted by Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.
Jobs, skills, education and infrastructure – including the full dualling of the A47 – were among a list of priorities highlighted as being key to boosting Norfolk’s prosperity in the future.
Eight of the county’s nine MPs attended the event, which was the first of its kind, held at Sprowston Manor. The ninth MP, Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, was called away on ministerial duties in his role as Flood Recovery, Fire and Rescue Minister.
The MPs met representatives from Norfolk businesses and together they spoke about the importance of working together to raise Norfolk’s visibility.
Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, spoke about how business can play a part in raising aspirations and make Norfolk a leader in education. Afterwards she said: “The Chamber events provide an excellent opportunity to meet local companies and discuss what is happening in the work place. One of the key messages is to ensure that students leave school with the appropriate qualifications for future jobs and further education.
“Another point of discussion was infrastructure. Both are absolute priorities not only for me but my fellow Norfolk MPs that is why we are pushing for full dualling of the A47 and ensuring that the skills base of the county is fit for all the fantastic career paths available - whether it be engineering at RAF Marham, or the science park at Norwich.”
Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk, spoke about the ways West Norfolk can help drive enterprise and jobs. He said after the event: “Quite superb organisation went into the event. It really was groundbreaking because, although in the past the Chamber has been able to lay on meetings with most of the MPs there, I think this was the first time we were all on parade together. I thought the mood at the meeting was incredibly positive and constructive.”
MP for North Norfolk, Norman Lamb spoke about helping small businesses compete for public sector contracts.
Caroline Williams, chief executive of the Norfolk Chamber, said: “Working together public and private sector from across the county we have to make Norfolk more visible to encourage our young people to stay and encourage the private and public sector to invest and drive our economy forward.”