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£440,000 funding announced for innovative technology network across Norfolk and Suffolk

28 March 2019

A bid for £440,000 funding by Norfolk and Suffolk county councils for the Norfolk and Suffolk Innovation Network project has been announced as one of four new projects to successfully receive New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Capital Growth Funding.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Innovation Network project aims to create a network across Norfolk and Suffolk to enable private, public and educational organisations, as well as the public to trial Internet of Things (IoT) technology.  This is a network that can send and receive low power signals from digital sensors used in a wide variety of sectors, including flood and traffic management and agri-tech.  Projected outputs of the project include the creation of 75 new jobs, development of 40 new products, increased efficiencies and improved productivity in the ICT sector.

Tom McCabe, interim Head of Paid Service at Norfolk County Council, said:  “Our successful bid for funding is exciting news for both Norfolk and Suffolk. It means that, within two years, both counties should benefit from a Long Range Wide Area Network (LorRaWAN), which will enable individuals, public and private organisations and educational establishments to explore, trial and implement Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

“Rural businesses in particular will be well-placed to design and develop new products for their local communities.  Schools will benefit from low entry technology and be supported to encourage and nurture coding and entrepreneurial skills amongst their students.”

Following detailed analysis of the LEP’s Capital Growth Programme to date, the call for new projects was given a specific focus on the themes of Skills, Innovation and Productivity.  As with all calls for Capital Growth Funding, all projects have been independently appraised using a comprehensive range of criteria.  The three other projects to receive funding are:

University of Suffolk: Digital Skills & Innovation Accelerator. £6.497m

Establishment of a new, nationally significant ICT research and training centre, combining high quality academic capabilities, world-leading industrial research and development. 1,600 m² of space focussed on education and growth in the regional digital economy to enhance productivity in sectors which use ICT as a key enabler.  The centre will leverage the capabilities of the University of Suffolk, BT and the Adastral Park tech cluster.  Projected outputs: 520 new learners (level 6+),145 apprentices (level 6+), 36 new jobs.

City College Norwich: Digi-Tech Factory. £6.098m

A 2,780m² building to be focussed on education, with innovative workshops and IT facilities, enabling a number of interconnected Digital Technology, Engineering and Design Courses to come together in a purpose-designed building.  The project has been designed to enable students, apprentices and local SMEs to increase their digital capability. Projected outputs: 477 new students,100 new apprentices, six full time and two part time new jobs.

Suffolk New College: Digital & Technology Skills Hub. £1.6m

To provide new skills for local SMEs seeking to increase their digital capability.  The Hub will offer a range of courses and also provide the building blocks for individuals to progress into Higher Education and Higher-Level Apprenticeships.  A new 462m² building will be located alongside the College’s current campus in Ipswich and so will benefit from the existing support services in the College. Projected outputs: 264 new students, 28 new apprentices, seven full time and five part time jobs.

New Anglia LEP has been allocated £290m in Capital Growth Funding through its Growth Deal with Government. Since 2014, the Growth Deal has helped to fund more than 30 projects across Norfolk and Suffolk since 2014, ranging from infrastructure and flood defences to innovation centres and business support programmes. This total investment is forecast to attract £628m extra investment over the next ten years. More information on the LEP’s Growth Deal with Government, including current projects and FAQs, can be found at newanglia.co.uk/growth-deal/

Local Growth Fund:  Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.  Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.

Further information

If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact DCLG press office by emailing NewsDesk@communities.gsi.gov.uk in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.

New Anglia is the Local Enterprise Partnership for Suffolk and Norfolk.

One of 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships, New Anglia has been established as a catalyst to create jobs and remove the barriers to business growth.

The partnership has signed a £290m Growth Deal with Government, established two Enterprise Zones and is the only LEP to have secured two City Deals – for Ipswich and Norwich.

With a focus on supporting and growing the economy of the East, the LEP has launched flagship funds to support the development of infrastructure and targeted support for business.

The LEP is also leading the Great Eastern Rail Campaign to deliver a faster more reliable service on the Norwich to London rail line.

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