An ambitious plan setting out a bid for a £25.2m share of the government’s Town Fund scheme will be considered by cabinet members at City Hall next Wednesday (29 July).
The ‘Norwich Investment Plan’ details a number of projects across Norwich, collectively aimed at ways of regenerating the city, boosting businesses and improving infrastructure.
The plan sets out the council’s proposal on how the Towns Fund investment will fund eight separate projects in Norwich which address two core themes within the fund: skills and enterprise infrastructure; urban regeneration.
Investment would be focussed on two parts of the city – the historic city centre and location of major cultural, heritage and retail assets; the large disused brownfield land in east Norwich to the east of the train station.
If approved by cabinet, the plan will be submitted to government on 31 July, with an announcement about funding expected during the autumn.
The investment plan links to one of the eight themed priorities identified within our Covid-19 recovery plan: business and the local economy.
Summary of projects
Skills and enterprise infrastructure
This package of projects supports how we will grow the digital and creative economy and ensure our residents and businesses have the advanced skills in digital, construction and engineering they need to prosper.
- Digital hub – a new city centre workspace with start-up and grow on space for digital businesses.
- The Halls – investment to update and refurbish the venue including the development of a state-of-the-art making space for collaboration and high value cross sector partnerships between culture, digital and tech.
- Digi-tech factory – a new skills facility providing digital tech, engineering and design courses.
- Advanced construction and engineering centre – a new technological advanced training facility, supporting the application of digital technology to construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors.
These projects offer opportunities for significant levels of housing growth and employment space creation to accommodate the needs of a growing city.
- East Norwich – investment to accelerate the development of a new high-quality urban quarter in east Norwich.
- Revolving fund – investment to unlock brownfield sites to deliver modern homes and workspaces for the growing economy.
- Public realm – investment to enhance the city centre public and urban spaces and improve connectivity and navigation.
- Branding – communicating what the city has to offer by developing a commercial proposition for Norwich as the place for business and a city to live, learn and invest in.
Alan Waters, leader of the city council said: “The projects put forward in our Norwich Investment Plan are focused on enhancing the creativity, liveability, connectivity, accessibility and inclusivity of the city centre – a common asset that is shared by both Norwich residents and the wider region.
“This is an opportunity to rethink our approach to achieving our ambitions, particularly in light of the pandemic. It allows us to look at the long term future of the city and its place in the UK and global economy through clean growth and by ensuring our residents are equipped with the skills of the future, have access to good jobs with fair pay and progression, and are better connected to our growth sectors.”
Norwich was among 101 local councils chosen to pitch for a share of the government’s £3.6 billion ‘Towns Fund’ – a pot of money aimed at kick-starting a range of innovative plans for those local authorities invited to bid. As part of the bidding process, the city council has brought together a Town Deal board – including representatives from across the public, private and voluntary sectors – to develop a bespoke Town Investment Plan to submit to government later this month.
It is not guaranteed that all projects included within the city council’s bid will be approved and funded by government as a part of our Town Deal.