A11 corridor of power

Could the A11 become a road to riches for the region? ANL-141212-140239009
Could the A11 become a road to riches for the region? ANL-141212-140239009

A Thetford Enterprise park could benefit from plan to cash in on the complete dualling of the A11.

Councils and other stakeholders between Newmarket and Norwich are being asked if they want to go ahead with an A11 Technology Corridor to help attract funding which consultants claim could bring 708,000sq m more industrial and commercial floorspace with the potential for 14,900 jobs to the area.

A feasibility study was commissioned by Breckland, South Norfolk, Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury Councils was completed in September and they must now decide whether to take it to the next phase. The 48-page executive summary on the project from South Norfolk Council says that will mean the councils committing to working together.

But it says they will also need commitment from New Anglia, Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough local enterprise partnerships, collaboration with Cambridge’s university, councils and science parks and revenue support from the councils.

No cost for the next phase is suggested but the report says gross public sector costs for the whole project are predicted to be £70 million, supplemented by £905 million from the private sector.

But the idea is that by grouping sites together, it makes it easier to get grants and LEP money.

The plan focuses on 11 sites from Newmarket Business Park to Norwich Research Park North. Thetford Enterprise Park is one of three sites, along with King’s Warren at Red Lodge and Browick Road in Wymondham, seen as ‘likely to make a very significant contribution.

The consultants also felt that Thetford Enterprise Park,Red Lodge and Wymondham’s Hethel Engineering Centre should be developed as technology hubs.

The report says while doing nothing, beyond council’s statutory duties, would incur no additional cost, it would only create 149,000sq metres of employment floorspace.