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Suffolk businesses to benefit from new £1m fund from local councils

PUBLISHED: 10:47 10 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:47 10 August 2017

Haverhill Research Park is one of the first areas to benefit from the new initiative. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Haverhill Research Park is one of the first areas to benefit from the new initiative. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

Archant

Local businesses are set to benefit from a new £1m fund aimed at boosting specific projects across the county.

The fund has been set up by the county’s major councils and the Police and Crime Commissioner to put some of the money raised from commercial rates back into the world of business.

It will be used to support specific projects with marketing schemes and training people to help businesses grow using that the government is diverting to local authority control.

Suffolk’s public sector leaders have come together to administer the fund across the whole county – but the first two projects to benefit are in the west of the county.

Examples of the kind of work that will be supported include an expansion of the Cambridge Norwich Technology Corridor programme, an initiative that seeks to capitalise on the £120 million dualling of the A11 by promoting areas along the route as places to set up and do business.

There is a particular focus on targeting the technology and creative industries, because of the access to Cambridge and Norwich where these industries are strong.

Suffolk sites currently being promoted include Kings Warren Business Park in Forest Heath and Haverhill Research Park, Haverhill.

Jennie Jenkins, chair of the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group, said: “We have a very varied and vibrant economy in Suffolk, but we need to do all we can to keep it growing and thriving.

“That’s why we’ve agreed, as public sector leaders, to invest this money in projects and programme that will boost local business and skills. When we work together, we can deliver bigger investments like this and achieve so much more for Suffolk.”

Other projects which have benefited from business rates funding include local bridges, the eastern relief road near Bury St Edmunds and Suffolk’s film and technology industries.

At the same time, the leaders also agreed a new project to improve the way each organisation deals with enquires from members of the public.

The programme, which will work to reduce duplication and make it easier for people to get the help they need first time, will bring the nine organisations even closer together to improve efficiency and levels of customer service.

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