Positive review for Yarmouth with jobs and homes yet to come
A positive vibe about the future of Great Yarmouth borough was spread among business leaders at a special celebration of the local economy this week.
Unemployment falling year on year
The number of people on Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in the Great Yarmouth area is continuing to fall year on year, though has slightly risen month on month.
In figures released by the Jobcentre this week, Julia Nix, district manager East Anglia Jobcentre Plus, said: “Monthly from October to November the claims have gone up but this is a seasonal factor with holiday centres closing for the winter and claims starting in November.”
In October, there were 345, 18-24 year olds seeking JSA and this has risen to 415 for November. However November 2014’s figure was 520.
The pattern is similar for adult claimants with 1,675 at the end of November, compared with 1,460 in October. The November 2014 figure was 2,010.
Ms Nix said there was always a massive seasonal hit affecting Yarmouth but went on to reveal there were job vacancies across the board particularly in the service industry, retail and care which is consistently growing.
She added: “We have a niche in renewables with construction still on the up, logistics such as HGV/LGV always there, and hospitality.”
There are 300 vacancies for jobs in Yarmouth town centre, and a further 2,565 in what is considered a reasonable travel to work distance ie Lowestoft and Norwich.
The Leader’s Reception, held in the Assembly Room, and hosted by Cllr Graham Plant, saw more than 100 guests from local businesses and other partner organisations take the opportunity to review the borough’s key achievements over the last 12 months, and look forward to future growth, investment and development.
Cllr Plant, whose responsibilities include economic development, gave a speech and presentation to expand on the highlights.
He was followed by David Rowland, of ScottishPower Renewables, who gave a talk on the East Anglia ONE Offshore Windfarm.
There was also the presentation of a special paperweight to Andy Stubbings, the managing director at Itron, in recognition of his commitment to engaging with local young people, seeking to enthuse them to pursue careers in engineering and electronics.
Cllr Plant said: “Much has been achieved during 2015, including at Beacon Park, the town centre and the seafronts, and I look forward to another year of investment and development, which will bring further benefits that meet public priorities, including jobs, new homes and facilities.”
He looked forward to future opportunities arising from offshore wind, including from the Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm which has based its operations and maintenance operations in the borough, the East Anglia ONE and Galloper Wind Farms, and the newly-established £1m decommissioning facility at the Outer Harbour.
Cllr Plant reviewed the success of Beacon Park, part of the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft (New Anglia) Enterprise Zone. During 2015, a number of businesses, mostly in the energy sector supply chain, had moved onto the park, which was better connected thanks to the recently-opened A12/A143 link road.
Cllr Plant praised the work of enterpriseGY, which had helped create 200 over the last two years and recalled the initiative to support the town centre, free weekend car parking trial, and enhanced events, including the real ice rink.
Other successes included festivals and other events organised or supported by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area and the council, as well as the £3m private sector refurbishment of Havenbridge House, and the launch of the Tidal Defences Business Partnership.