Brandon Lewis reinforces case for Assisted Area status for Great Yarmouth

I have written to the Government in support of the inclusion of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft in the UK’s 2014-20 Assisted Areas Map.

In a joint letter with the MP for Waveney, Peter Aldous, to Business Minister, Michael Fallon, I reinforced the case that Great Yarmouth is well placed to benefit from inclusion, which will generate increased business activity and create jobs.

Assisted Area Status permits the granting of additional financial support to small businesses and large enterprises in economically disadvantaged locations. This support is to encourage businesses in these communities to grow, innovate and thrive.

The letter outlined that since the draft Map was published, there have been further developments, which make the case for Assisted Area status more compelling. These include:-

  1. Increased activity in the oil and gas sector in the North Sea.
  2. Offshore wind developers bringing forward development plans in the southern North Sea providing a unique opportunity to strengthen the supply chain.
  3. The Government’s announcement that it will carry out the A47 Corridor Feasibility Study, which would examine the economic benefits of linking Europe to the Midlands and thereby attracting increased investment to the two towns.

Inclusion in the Map will build on the existing incentives of the Enterprise Zones, Local Development Orders (outside of the Enterprise Zones) and Lowestoft’s designation, along with Great Yarmouth, as a Centre of Offshore Renewable Engineering (CORE). Up to now 4 out of the 6 CORE designated areas have Assisted Area Status but now that they all do, they are better placed to realise their full potential and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment (UKTI) will be able to promote them as a single entity globally.

The case for Great Yarmouth’s inclusion on the Assisted Area Status map is clear and the benefits that inclusion could bring to the area are huge. Local businesses, the Enterprise Partnership and elected representatives are united in their support for Great Yarmouth to receive Assisted Area Status. I will continue to press the Government for our inclusion on the map.

Mr Aldous has said:

“The case for Lowestoft to be designated an Assisted Area is ever more compelling and could be pivotal to unlocking economic growth and creating job. As a port, Lowestoft is well placed to take advantage of the business opportunities in the oil and gas and offshore wind sectors and I hope that the Government can provide confirmation of inclusion in the Map as soon as practically possible.”