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Five-year plan to boost economic recovery

23 July 2021

A five-year recovery plan is set to be launched, after it emerged COVID-19 caused a £4.5 billion drop in Norfolk’s economy last year.

Norfolk County Council’s cabinet wants to work closely with partners to develop a five-year renewal and investment plan.

A report to cabinet reveals that, using a measure known as gross value added (GVA), Norfolk’s economy dropped by £4.5 billion last year, to £15.2 billion.

There has been some recovery through 2021 but the economy is still £1.5 billion smaller than at the start of the pandemic – and won’t be at 2019 levels until the last quarter of 2022.

Deputy leader, Councillor Graham Plant – cabinet member for growing the economy – said: “To ensure that our economy, businesses and residents can recover as quickly as possible, it’s vital that we take stock and put in place the right funding and support.

“We must set ourselves ambitious growth targets over the next three to five years and a single plan for the area, which sets out Norfolk’s priorities more clearly than ever before.”

Key sectors and themes will include: green energy; tourism and retail; business support, including digital support; skills; and light engineering and manufacturing.

The council is proposing to work more closely in partnership with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and partners to create a Norfolk and Suffolk Renewal Plan, to help to recover more quickly from the pandemic and capitalise on shared priorities.

It also proposes to develop a Norfolk Investment Framework, which sets out the challenges across Norfolk in the next three to five years and creates an evidence base for multiple funding streams.

The renewal plan will replace three current plans from the LEP, with a draft ready to be endorsed by the winter.

Cabinet will discuss the report when it meets at 10am on Monday, 2 August. You can read the agenda papers and view the meeting online, live or afterwards.

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