Challenge for Suffolk and Norfolk firms to become the powerhouse of the UK economy

The Chairman of New Anglia LEP will today (13) challenge firms from Suffolk and Norfolk to become the powerhouse of the UK economy.

Andy Wood is due to tell over 200 leaders from business, local government and academia that New Anglia has the ‘track record and the opportunity’ to be head and shoulders above its competitors across the world.

“I wholeheartedly believe our area has the opportunity to be an economic and ideas powerhouse well into this new century.” Mr Wood will tell delegates at the Growth! Conference held in Swaffham.

“I fundamentally believe business has to be at the heart of the wider economic recovery and at the heart of our ambitions for what we want to achieve in the New Anglia area.

“We really do have the people, the ideas, the talent and the drive to help solve some of the world’s big challenges and benefit economically ourselves.”

The Conference will also hear from Anthony Hilton, the Senior Business and Economic Columnist of the Evening Standard and The Independent and Alex Golledge, the Bank of England’s Deputy Agent in the South East and East Anglia about the current economic challenges facing the region and UKplc.

“We are being deliberately audacious because we believe we are being given a great opportunity and have the track record.” Mr Wood said ahead of the event.

“We’re already a trusted partner of Government because we get things done. We are results focused with the private and public sectors united and determined to deliver.”

In a clarion call to businesses at the event he will go onto say that New Anglia needs measurable targets for retaining the brightest and the best talent, for developing and valuing vocational skills and for expanding the provision of apprenticeships.

“We have many early learners and young people already in the education system who we want to encourage to have long, rewarding, and meaningful careers in our leading industries and their supply chains.

“They are the wealth creators and entrepreneurs of the future, and we must give them every reason to live and work here.” he said.

“I want to ensure a razor sharp focus on this issue bringing together business, schools colleges, sector specialists and policymakers to help us deliver this and to build on many of the other terrific schemes and initiatives already in place across Norfolk and Suffolk.”

He is also due to announce that New Anglia LEP will host a ‘significant Skills Summit’ in the late summer with the ambition of delivering the most skilled workforce to our businesses as soon as possible.