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Councillors map out plans to make Norfolk prosper

06:30 03 April 2012

General view of Norfolk County Council -  County Hall, Norwich

General view of Norfolk County Council - County Hall, Norwich

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Council bosses have mapped out how they believe multi-million pound investments in roads, railways, broadband and businesses could thrust Norfolk into an age of prosperity.

Backing a bid to secure European Union cash to dual the A47, Norwich’s northern bypass and getting faster internet speeds are high on Norfolk County Council’s list of demands.

The authority’s blueprint, signed-off by councillors yesterday,also hopes to bolster the county’s economy by: starting-up rural businesses by creating seven market town hubs; improving rail links between Norfolk and London, Cambridge and Norwich and Cambridge and King’s Lynn; promoting “World Class” Norfolk as a place to work, live and visit; developing Great Yarmouth’s third river crossing; encouraging businesses to start up and grow; creating up to 500 apprenticeships; and building an advanced manufacturing centre at Hethel.

A familiar sight on the list is the A47.

The council says it will “champion” the road’s bid to be eligible for EU funding, which could help dual it from Great Yarmouth to Norwich and beyond.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for planning and transportation, told yesterday’s cabinet meeting: “We are working very closely with the government. Brandon Lewis has secured a meeting with Mike Penning about the entire length of the A47. The reason we are looking at that is it’s vital we have a secure and proper road coming into Norfolk that can feed-in to all market towns.

“From an economic development point of view, it’s very important this road is looked at as a matter of priority.”

For businesses there are several ideas, including £200,000 to help establish a larger programme to help businesses start up.

Attleborough, Aylsham, Downham Market, Fakenham, Harleston, North Walsham and Swaffham will also host pilot projects for “market town enterprise hubs”. The aim is to help rural businesses to start up. A separate project is looking to encourage female entrepreneurs.

Up to 500 apprenticeships could also be created by £4.5m earmarked for the project.

Martin Lake, Mid Norfolk branch chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “I think time will tell. The public sector and private fundamentally think differently and work at different speeds.

“I think the council has pretty much got it right with road, rail and broadband. Broadband for me is such a key one as it puts SMEs (small and medium enterprises) on a similar footing to much larger competitors.”

But Mr Lake added he would not like to see progress made at the expense of damaging the lifestyle offered by the county.

He said: “I would love a dynamic, happy, vibrant community to live in, as most people would.”

Richard Bearman, Green Party group leader at County Hall, said he was unconvinced road building would solve Norfolk’s economic issues.

What do you think? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 3RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

15 comments

  • ingo, agree 100%. Specially the Secret Society bit.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • I have to agree with Sapphire. I don't understand why this story is thought appropriate for the Lowestoft Journal. We are, of course in close proximity to Norfolk, but this application for EU cash will affect us only tangentially, if at all.

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • Ingo is right, the only people that will prosper is themselves and their preferred business partners.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • We have been here before making Norfolk Great Residents have a month to ponder, reflect, think back, regaling your brain cells with the waste of cash these past four years, a million£ on screens, sued million£ on gardens, million and a half £ on road for none existing containers, very many millions£ on quay liabilities that should be paid by those we gave the port too, lost the use of our lovely South Pier, Haven Bridge we now pay for that. Oh nearly forgot we gave £20 million grant and upwards to £50 million ancient Port of Great Yarmouth to a bunch of Bankers. None of these expenses have brought any prosperity just more expense, there are several people standing who instigated this cost to us Ratepayers. Now is the time to vote for the person even if the person is not the colour of your party

    Report this comment

    John L Cooper

    Thursday, April 5, 2012

  • Sayitasitis, top post...very scarey.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • This is nothing to do with the residents of Norfolk or jobs. It is our Tory County Councillors have let the public down. Twelve months prior to the County elections they have come up with carrot after using the stick. By taking action now to fool the public will fill their campaign leaflets with hope and prosperity. Feel good factor and if they get realected back to their old ways and sit on Quango multiple committees dwindling away our Council Tax.

    Report this comment

    Choice

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • "A separate project is looking to encourage female entrepreneurs. "---- in this day and age of equal rights how the hell do they get away with that then?

    Report this comment

    ggj666

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • Thought this was the LOWESTOFT Journal. What has this story to do with Lowestoft? We folk know more about Norfolk than what's happening in Lowestoft. Will be renaming the Lowestoft Journal The Norfolk News next I suppose. Lowestoft is in Suffolk.

    Report this comment

    Sapphire

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • If we're relying on Councillors for our prosperity then we may as well give up now. There has only rarely been a more scary headline than this one, NNN. Decades of not even being able to make single carriageway into a dual carriageway (a whole 8 miles!), these are the same people who are going to make us prosper!! It took them more or less 12 years YEARS! to build a simple little hospital in Cromer, it's only a building for goodness sake! I'm sticking with the private sector, which HAS to deliver, every day, to gain my own prosperity.

    Report this comment

    windup

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • After Camerons noises of leaving Europe, our NCC is hoping that they finance the NDR? The old conservative guard still knows nothing else than spend more money on roads, jobs for their principal prefered contractors, same as we've done before. Norfolk has stagnated and because men who belong to secret societies have been allowed to rule for too long.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • Thought this was the LOWESTOFT Journal. What has this story to do with Lowestoft? We folk know more about Norfolk than what's happening in Lowestoft. Will be renaming the Lowestoft Journal The Norfolk News next I suppose. Lowestoft is in Suffolk.

    Report this comment

    Sapphire

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • We need Norfolk as a world class place to bring your business and employ Norfolk workers, not trumpet it as a place for the retired or second homers. As for a third crossing at Yarmouth-why? Sorting out the roundabouts on the A 12 and at both ends of Breydon Bridge would solve most problems and as traffic on the A12 goes next to nowhere very slowly and the Acle straight remains undualled a new bridge would be a pointless expensive exercise. If Plant can't see the existing road problems in GY he should stick to selling pizzas. I'm just thinking how many university bursaries for clever but low income GY kids the giant screens could have paid for, or start up money for small businesses. They might as well have had a bonfire of fivers in the market place and BBQd a few feral pigeons

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • Ingo. If we were to leave Europe there would be so much money available we could tarmac the whole of Norfolk if we wished! Sooner I hope!

    Report this comment

    windup

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • Asking the EU for our own cash back....D'oh!!

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • I've got an idea! Why don't Norfolk County Council spend £600m to build a 268,000 ton bonfire just upwind from King's Lynn? What better way to make Norfolk a desirable place to live? How could any business resist coming to Norfolk?

    Report this comment

    Barking

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

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