Councillors have given the go ahead to a six point plan for jobs and growth in West Suffolk.
A report last week outlined the joint plan between St Edmundsbury Borough and Forest Heath District Council to engage with local businesses to help them drive forward and obtain investment for the area.
The plan envisages engagement with at least 100 businesses to help create 120 new jobs and 10 new businesses in the next two years.
Projects within the plan will be funded in a variety of ways including council funding, Local Enterprise Partnership funding and European money.
The six point plan involves meeting and understanding the needs of West Suffolk businesses, promoting the economic region of West Suffolk, supporting its market towns, ensuring the right conditions for growth, developing skills and increasing employment opportunities and capitalising on the area’s key sectors. These include tourism, food, drink and agriculture and life sciences and biotechnology such as the Animal Health Trust at Kentford and Nestor Pharmaceuticals at Mildenhall.
The report to St Edmundsbury’s cabinet states that West Suffolk ‘is a successful, safe and supportive area’ which contains around 6,500 registered businesses.
With Bury at the heart of its economic centre it is a thriving and diverse economy with an ‘entrepreneurial appetite’ states the report.
The Business Improvement District, Our Bury St Edmnunds is cited as an example of one of the ways of driving growth alongside £19,000 awarded to 38 shops in Brandon, Lakenheath. Mildenhall and Newmarket to help improve these locations.
The report also pledges to provide enough employment land citing the 68 hectares at the Suffolk Business Park as well as examining whether there is enough ‘incubator’ provision for new businesses.
Andrew Denny, chairman of Bury Chamber of Commerce said: “We welcome that shift in emphasis, to see that private enterprise is not the cow to be milked but the horse that pulls the cart, It is great to have this on the agenda but it needs action and there is lots the authority can do to help business draw down funds and put the right infrastructure in place to allow some development on greenfield and existing sites. Action has to follow.”
More information is on both council websites and a pocket handbook is available,