West Norfolk businesses name faster broadband as a key issue for future growth

Chamber Roundtable was held at the College of West Anglia.
Chamber Roundtable was held at the College of West Anglia.

Faster broadband and transport improvements are key issues identified by West Norfolk businesses as being vital to accelerate economic growth,

Better road and rail links, such as the dualling of the A47, were listed alongside the need to invest in public transport.

The views were raised at a free to attend Roundtable meeting organised by Norfolk Chamber held at the College of West Anglia on Monday.

Around 20 representatives from businesses of differing sizes and from a diverse range of sectors attended the Roundtable to help pull together evidence for the updated New Anglia LEP Economic Strategy.

Commenting on infrastructure and the need for strong business input, Norfolk Chamber President, Jonathan Cage said: “Previous infrastructure campaigns, such as the dualling of the A11 in Norfolk, were won by making clear the benefits to business. We can do a lot with joined-up marketing – that is in our power – however it is harder for us to say we are going to dual the A47. That’s where we need businesses to explain the difference it would make to them.”

Also highlighted as key priorities were improved skills and raising the aspirations of young people. The forging of stronger links between schools and employers and engagement with students of a younger age was also raised.

The new Economic Strategy, will lay out the direction for the Norfolk and Suffolk economies through to 2036, highlighting where key strengths can be supported and where improvements are necessary. The finalised document is due for publication by New Anglia LEP in the autumn this year.

Another area of consideration put forward was the need for a communication/PR strategy to “tell the story” of Norfolk – to not only say, what a great place to live and work the region is, but to promote its strengths and show what opportunities are available.

The final Roundtable will be held in Norwich on July 11 to gather business feedback. It is open to all businesses and is free to attend. Please visit the Chamber website: http://norfolkchamber.co.uk/events/