Future prospects for Great Yarmouth revealed

BUSINESSES were praised and future prospects for Great Yarmouth revealed during an annual meeting between local companies and the borough council.

More than 100 business representatives attended The Leader’s Reception where Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Steve Ames told of the benefit of the Enterprise Zones and expanding businesses in the town.

But concerns were raised at the high levels of youth unemployment.

In his speech, Mr Ames said: “Enterprise Zone status will promote the energy offer in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft acting as an important boost in attracting new inward investment and jobs to this area.

“The port, which forms a major part of one of our two Enterprise Zones has already been used extensively for the offshore wind industry this year as a base for the installation of foundations on Lincs Offshore Wind Farm and for topsides for the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind farm.”

“Our second Enterprise Zone is at Beacon Park. This year has seen the completion and hand over of prestigious new headquarters for Norfolk Capacitors at Excalibur Road and the start on site of speculative offices by Wellington Construction. Before Christmas, Wellington will be ‘cutting the first sod’ for speculative industrial units and confirmed occupiers will be announced in the New Year.”

The reception featured guest speakers from Great Yarmouth companies who gave their views on the challenges and opportunities in the town.

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Blair Ainslie, managing director of Seajacks spoke of the potential of the wind industry in Great Yarmouth.

Meanwhile, Andy Stubbings, managing director of Itron, outlined the work they were doing to encourage young people into the electronics and engineering industry.

Mr Ames added: “In 2012 we are expecting to make a start on a 70,000 sq ft office and production plant for a major employer that has just been granted planning permission, and there will be important announcements on the delivery of the retail element on the Park and other occupiers that we are in advanced discussions with.

“To help the enterprise community to continue to thrive, the enterpriseGY programme has been given funding by the borough council for a further two years. New small businesses are important to the ongoing regeneration of Great Yarmouth.

“However there will need to be assistance from the private sector.”

He added: “These are difficult times and we sadly see youth unemployment hit new highs. I am encouraged by local companies taking the initiative to engage with the workforce of the future off their own backs.”