Thursday, 29 May 2014 11:07

New Anglia LEP set out rural vision

Written by  Ruralcity Media
New Anglia LEP set out rural vision

THE New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) says it has funds available to help rural business deliver skills and growth for Suffolk and Norfolk.

The latest grant funding opportunities for rural businesses were outlined during an awareness event during the Suffolk Show at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Wednesday (28 May).

LEP chairman Mark Pendlington spoke of the three pillars of the rural economy – skills, infrastructure and business support – and the need for superfast rural broadband.

"We need a capable workforce to grow the rural economy and the new enterprises within it, and we need to ensure Suffolk and Norfolk are not at the end of the queue for broadband roll-out."

The LEP was "fighting hard for the rural economy," said Mr Pendlington.

It wanted to ensure the availability of strong business support and expertise, including funds to help businesses deliver the skills and growth that would drive the region forward.

"This is my aspiration and ambition, and I am determined we can bring it to life: the Local Enterprise Partnership is on your side and on the side of the rural economy."

The event was hosted by the Country Land and Business Association.

CLA eastern region director Nicola Currie said the association's advisors could help direct people to the most appropriate funding stream to help them advance their businesses.

"There have been big changes in the grant and support systems for rural business and it's vitally important to get the message out that the LEP is open for business," she said.

It was important to get a good deal for Suffolk and Norfolk, said Mrs Currie.

"Fit-for-purpose broadband for the rural economy is an issue firmly at the top of the CLA's agenda, so it is heartening to know the New Anglia LEP shares our concerns."

Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey represented their respective constituents at the event.

Mr Aldous echoed the calls for faster internet connections.

"Significant improvements on broadband in rural areas have been made, but there are still a range of 'not-spots' that remain," he said.
For more information about grants, visit

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