Major expansion of industrial activity at Snetterton, which could create over 1,700 new jobs, can now go ahead after a key infrastructure project was allocated £2.3m funding.
The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has approved a funding application from Breckland Council to support its Snetterton Electricity Power Upgrade project. The scheme aims to expand Snetterton Heath’s existing electricity supply capability and support substantial industrial business growth at Snetterton.
The New Anglia LEP has agreed to provide £2.3m towards the project, which alongside further private and public sector investment, means the £3m scheme can progress.
Snetterton Heath is identified as a key employment site by Breckland Council and the New Anglia LEP and is a strategic site within the new Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor, which seeks to maximise the benefits of the dualling of the A11. The funding will be used to upgrade the electricity power supply, which will help unlock growth and attract new businesses – and new jobs – to the area.
The current power capacity at this large industrial site is nearing 100% usage by existing firms, restricting opportunities for them to grow and for new businesses to come to Snetterton.
The funding is expected, as a minimum, to triple the power capability at Snetterton by laying additional high voltage underground cables from Attleborough to a new substation at Snetterton. This is particularly important for the engineering and manufacturing companies which the Council and the LEP want to attract to Snetterton as part of the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor initiative.
The upgraded power connection is expected to be completed towards the end of 2018. It has been made possible thanks to an earlier investment by Breckland Council to secure the power option with UK Power Networks, a distribution network operator for electricity, while full funding for the project was sought.
Chris Starkie, Managing Director of New Anglia LEP, said: “This investment will allow for existing businesses to expand and attract new employers to the area, helping towards our ambition of creating 95,000 new jobs across Norfolk and Suffolk by 2026 – a target which we’re already over one third of the way towards achieving.
“Boosting the power capability at Snetterton Heath will unlock the site’s potential for growth and, importantly, lead to the creation of new jobs. This is a really positive development for the local area and we’re pleased to be working with Breckland District Council to support the power upgrade project.”
Cllr Phil Cowen, Breckland’s Executive Member of Growth and Commercialisation, said: “Securing this funding support from the LEP means we can now overcome the single major barrier to attracting new businesses to Snetterton Heath – the limited power supply.
“The relatively recent dualling of the A11 and the creation of the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor means there is a great opportunity to capitalise on Snetterton Heath’s location, availability of flat land and improved road transport links. I’m delighted that the first major development on the A11 since dualling was completed will be in Breckland.
“We have been working closely with local Snetterton companies and landowners to establish the best way to overcome the current electricity supply limitations and this successful bid to the New Anglia LEP is one very positive outcome of this cooperation.
“Snetterton Heath can now be properly established as a key site in the A11 focused tech corridor. We hope to complement the established automotive sector and precision engineering companies in the area by encouraging companies from the fields of advanced manufacturing, engineering and agri-tech to the area. This will create new, higher skilled – and higher paying – jobs, which provide an opportunity to grow local talent to meet this demand.
“We also hope to support companies from the fields of logistics, distribution and food production, which already have a presence in Snetterton.”
"As we are seeking to grow our automotive business in Norfolk, the development of Technology Park combined with the link to the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor can only strengthen our local position which we welcome"
Aslam Farikullah, Group Lotus
"‘The Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor shows real vision and I applaud the partnerships role in leading the development of this strategic economic development initiative"
Simon Coward, Hethel Innovation