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Six-point plan for growth outlined to business people

Tuesday, 22nd April 2014.

Guest speaker Andrea Mayley, head of economic development and growth for Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough Councils, told local businesses that increasing opportunities for growth was a top priority for West Suffolk Councils.

Andrea was addressing local businesses and organisations at the bestof Haverhill April networking event at Days Inn, Haverhill.

In an interesting and informative talk Andrea explained how £3 million of savings had been achieved through St Edmundsbury Borough Council joining forces with Forest Heath District Council.

The economic development and growth team was the only team to have expanded since the integration of the two local authorities, which are together known as West Suffolk Councils.

Andrea introduced their six point plan for jobs and growth. Meeting and understanding the needs of Suffolk businesses was a crucial part of the plan.

Andrea commented that unless the businesses needs were fully understood the economic development team could not help them. The team were there to act as honest, impartial brokers who had nothing to gain other than being part of the success of the businesses they were helping.

With knowledge and expertise in the availability and accessing of funding and links with partner agencies, such as UKTI, they were well-placed to help businesses.

Promoting West Suffolk and communicating the unique selling point of the region to potential investors was another key area which would help to create jobs.

The importance of market towns in the economy had been identified and supporting the markets in West Suffolk had been highlighted within the plan. A West Suffolk markets development officer was appointed in January and was responsible for developing the markets.

Another factor in the plan was to ensure the right conditions for growth were in place in West Suffolk by removing any barriers to growth.

Andrea talked about the work that was being carried out with Cambridgeshire County Council to carry out a road and rail feasibility study along the A1307 corridor between Haverhill and Cambridge.

Developing skills and improving employment opportunities for all was a further factor and the final element of the plan was the need to capitalise on our key sectors and exploit the opportunities for growth in these areas.

Elaine Carr, owner of the bestof Haverhill, said: “It was encouraging to hear that there is a plan in place to support businesses in the region.

"There is no doubt that West Suffolk councils realise the growth potential in Haverhill and they are committed to helping businesses in the town with a range of activities from helping to find land and premises to highlighting funding opportunities. Local businesses should not hesitate to access the resources available to them.”

For further information on the six-point plan contact the economic development and growth team on 01284 757114 or email economic.development@westsuffolk.gov.uk.

Paul Donno from 1 Accounts Online was presented with a 'Highly Recommended' certificate at the event. 1 Accounts Online were recommended because they are 'approachable, friendly, helpful and honest; they make accounting simple and easy to understand and their service is delivered with a smile'.

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