Prime Minister announces long term economic plan for the East of England

Prime Minister announces long term economic plan for the East of England

Jobs, transport, science, agri-tech, energy and defence are at the heart of the six point long term economic plan for the East of England.

 

The Prime Minister has set out his six-point long term economic plan for the East of England showing what has been delivered, what is underway and what more can be done to make the regional economy prosperous in the long term.

In a speech at Felixstowe Port, the Prime Minister set out the detailed plan as part of a day long tour of the region. The plan aims to:

  1. increase the long term growth rate of the East of England to at least the long term growth rate of the whole UK, adding more than £12bn in real terms to the East of England economy by 2030. This is equivalent to nearly £2,000 more per person compared to the East continuing on its long term average growth path 
  2. create 250,000 extra jobs in the East of England by 2020, by backing the new and existing strengths in industry in the East, business investment and new start-ups
  3. take forward £4.2bn of investment in transport in the East of England, boosting road and rail connections across the East – including widening the study into the East-West rail line, looking at the case for electrifying the rail line from Felixstowe to Birmingham, reaching an important milestone in delivering the new East Anglia rail franchise, and delivering on road improvements, including the A11 and the A47
  4. build on the East’s world-class science and technology base by supporting universities and high tech industries, and maximise the East’s role in defence – including funding the Cambridge Science Park Technology Centre, welcoming exciting new science projects such as the University of Essex’s Knowledge Gateway, and cementing the East as the first line of defence at home and abroad with the RAF’s fast jet hub
  5. capitalise on the inherent strengths of the East, boosting the rural economy and reaping the benefits of the more than £50bn that will be invested in the energy sector over the next 20 years, in offshore wind farms, oil and gas exploration and extraction, and nuclear energy. This includes backing agri-tech, plans for new Food Enterprise Zones for the food industry, and the potential expansion of the energy Enterprise Zone at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft
  6. ensure a better quality of life in the East, supporting the construction of over 15,000 new homes, making improvements to local education so that over 90,000 more pupils attend outstanding schools, and backing culture through investments in local sights and encouraging more regional protected food names

There are no quick fixes to achieving these important goals, so the Prime Minister and Chancellor are also setting out a specific timetable to deliver the key concepts of this plan over the five years of the next parliament, and the following decade. As important next steps in the plan for the East of England, the Prime Minister announced a number of new measures to improve transport links and invest in the science, defence, and energy sectors:

  • exploring the case to electrify the Felixstowe to Birmingham railway line, launching a new competition for the new East Anglia franchise, considering reviving the Wisbech-March-Ely line and welcoming £260m new private investment at Felixstowe Port
  • government will also extend the study already underway of the East-West Rail (Bedford to Cambridge) to explore the options for the Eastern section of the line and consider the possibility of a new station south of Cambridge at the new Addenbrookes campus
  • new funding for the new Science Park technology centre in Cambridge and backing exciting proposals that aim to turn science into growth, such as the University of Essex’s Knowledge Gateway. The long term plan will also cement the East as the first line of defence at home and abroad as the RAF’s fast jet hub
  • we will support the secondment of thirty excellent middle leaders to work in challenging schools in the East to help raise standards in the region’s schools
  • the plan backs jobs and marine expertise in Lowestoft by developing long-term plans for CEFAS. We will support the unique strength of the East’s food industries through Food Enterprise Zones and increasing the ambition for Protected Food Names
  • the government is inviting the energy Enterprise Zone at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft to build on its contribution to the local economy and consider expanding its activities, taking action to ensure that local businesses are able to access the supply chain for Sizewell C, providing support to the gas sector in the region, and tackling skills barriers across the energy sector

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have set out clearly, the only way for the UK’s recovery to be truly sustainable is for it to be truly national. While the challenge is significant, so is the prize ahead. By pursuing this plan the Prime Minister and Chancellor aim to achieve real outcomes for the people of the East of England who have already seen the fastest employment growth in England outside of London under this government.

The Prime Minister will be visiting a variety of businesses and institutions across the East of England to hear how the government’s long term economic plan is delivering for them and what more can be done to support the region. 

Prime Minister, David Cameron said: 

Our long term economic plan is working in the East of England. The region has 80,000 more businesses and the fastest growth in employment in England outside London. Nearly 200,000 more people have the financial security that a job and regular pay-packet bring since 2010. I am determined to go further and we will keep working through our plan to secure a brighter future for hardworking people across the East of England by making the most of the region’s strengths in science, defence and energy, ensuring we have world-class infrastructure and backing business to create more jobs.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said: 

The East of England is growing and creating jobs and on many measures is doing so more quickly than other parts of our country. We need to maintain this which is why the Prime Minister is today outlining the next steps in our long term economic plan for the East of England. That plan aims to deliver 250,000 new jobs and boost the East of England’s growth by over £12 billion.