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County Council set to back £7.7m economic kickstart plans

26 June 2020

£7.7m plans to kickstart Norfolk’s economic recovery from coronavirus are set to be supported by the County Council’s cabinet.

Cabinet members are set to agree to invest £1 million, alongside the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Norfolk’s district councils, to help to restart the economy.

Councillor Graham Plant, cabinet member for growing the economy, said: “As a local businessman, I know how tough the last few months have been and it’s vital we take swift and decisive action.

“I’m confident that, working with our partners, we can kickstart a range of actions that get the economy back on its feet.”

The report says that a Norfolk and Suffolk Recovery Plan is being created, supported by a Norfolk Delivery Plan of immediate and short to medium term actions for the county.

As part of these actions, the Delivery Plan includes a focus on ensuring the county is a safe place to live, work and visit, as well as identifying clean growth opportunities, retaining and building on the environmental benefits arising from the pandemic.

The impact of the virus on people is also a priority, with initiatives aiming to support businesses to give their staff new skills and help them adapt to new ways of working, and others seeking to help people who have been made redundant access work or training.

Longer-term schemes, that are essential for growth, feature in the Delivery Plan, including:

  • The offshore wind operations and maintenance base at Great Yarmouth
  • The Food Innovation Centre at Honingham
  • The Digital Hub for the creative industries sector in the city centre
  • The Delivery Plan will be supported by a Norfolk Strategic Fund, to develop recovery projects. Norfolk County Council is proposing to invest £1m, matched by the district councils and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, to create a £7.7m fund.

It is proposed that the County Council’s share would come from some of its Government grant for COVID-19 support.

Throughout the initial crisis, the County Council and its partners worked together in an “economic recovery cell”, which supported efforts to source protective personal equipment for businesses and provide other business support.

The report states that a two-stage Norfolk and Suffolk Recovery Plan is being created, with partners aiming to publish a “Restart” plan at the end of June, to cover the next six to 12 months, then work with the Government on a “Rebuild” plan by early next year, covering the next three to five years.

Cabinet will discuss the report at its virtual, online meeting at 10am on Monday, 6 July. The reports, plus a link from the agenda to the meeting, are available online.

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