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28 March, 2016 - 01:12 By Kate Sweeney

New Anglia LEP says devolution plan will drive economic growth

The chairman of New Anglia LEP has welcomed the Chancellor’s recent announcement of a multi-million pound devolution agreement for the East of England but believes that business must remain at the heart of future negotiations.

A £1 billion deal over 30 years will give the region greater access to key levers that drive the economy such as infrastructure, jobs, housing and skills and will build on the work that the LEP and its partners have achieved over the past five years.

Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire have a combined economy of £56bn bringing significant benefits to UK Plc through its world-leading agri-tech food and health research, all-energy coast and digital technology clusters. Devolution could bring an additional £21bn and boost the region’s productivity levels which still fall below the national average.

Mark Pendlington (pictured), chairman of New Anglia LEP said: “Devolution brings a great opportunity to release even more potential from our vibrant towns and cities, giving us greater influence, control and decision making over vital areas of our economy from creating jobs, boosting skills, supporting our businesses and building the homes that we so desperately need.

“We want to attract the brightest and the best to the East, to live, learn and work here, devolution offers us a way to achieve our ambitions and showcase our great industries from offshore energy and ICT and creative digital excellence to world-leading agri-tech research nationally and across the world. But it is business that will drive the growth, create the jobs and spark the innovation, so they must continue to be at the heart of devolution discussions over the coming months including discussions on the role of a future East Anglian Mayor.”

Pendlington, also welcomed the Chancellor’s confirmation of £151m funding for the Third Crossing in Lowestoft and the Wet Dock Crossing in Ipswich.
“In Ipswich the Wet Dock Crossing will unlock even more enterprise and innovation at the Waterfront and boost jobs and future housing growth for the whole town – another great step forward for our Ipswich Vision ambitions.”

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