Great Yarmouth businesses attend Leader’s Reception to celebrate strength of local economy

  • Cllr Graham Plant, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and Sheila Oxtoby, the council’s chief executive, with Danielle Lane (middle), Head of Country at Vattenfall, at the Leader's Reception
    Cllr Graham Plant, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, and Sheila Oxtoby, the council’s chief executive, with Danielle Lane (middle), Head of Country at Vattenfall, at the Leader's Reception

Businesses in the Great Yarmouth borough attended a special celebration of the local economy, which was hosted by the council leader, Cllr Graham Plant, at the Town Hall on Wednesday, December 19.

The Leader’s Reception, organised by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, saw 100 guests from local businesses and other partner organisations review the borough’s key economic achievements over the last 12 months, and look forward to further growth, investment and development.

Great Yarmouth is England’s offshore energy sector capital, at the forefront of £39bn of energy investment over the next 20 years, and is also Norfolk’s top coastal resort, with visitors now worth more than £625m each year to the local economy and supporting an estimated 12,000 jobs.

As part of the reception, Cllr Plant gave a speech and presentation on the highlights of 2018, followed by guest speaker Danielle Lane, Head of Country at Vattenfall, who expanded on the wind farm developer’s ambitions to invest in the borough and utilise the local energy sector supply chain.

This year, Vattenfall has reserved space at the River Port for an operations and maintenance base to service two of the world’s largest offshore wind farms, Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas, creating up to 150 skilled jobs for at least 25 years.

The reception also heard today’s exciting announcement that local business Brineflow is undertaking a £4m expansion at Great Yarmouth Energy Park while freeing up a prime site for offshore energy investment beside the Outer Harbour – thanks to a commercial agreement with the borough council.

Cllr Plant said: “This year has been another busy and exciting one for the local economy, bringing some important investments and developments, with much more on the horizon.  

“One of our top priorities is working proactively with partners to support inclusive economic growth, enterprise and investment for the benefit of our businesses and communities, and this is reflected in the range of positive work that is moving forward.”    

In his speech, Cllr Plant remarked on the borough’s reputation as an offshore wind hub. In addition to the announcement by Vattenfall, this year saw completion of the £1.5bn Galloper Offshore Wind Farm, developed by Innogy SE, which was assembled and installed from the Outer Harbour.

Cllr Plant highlighted the council’s work to further support opportunities across the sector by progressing development of Great Yarmouth Energy Park, at South Denes, and the top-performing Enterprise Zone at Beacon Park, which this year saw the opening of Proserv’s landmark £7.7m HQ, developed by the council in partnership with the LEP.

He welcomed the infrastructure investment which reflects confidence in the local and regional economies, including the £120m committed by the Government and Norfolk County Council to the Third River Crossing, and the £13.6m partnership investment secured towards the second phase of a crucial tidal defences project.

Cllr Plant also celebrated the recent highways investment to enhance the Fullers Hill roundabout, railway station forecourt, bus station and pedestrian signage, which has improved the visitor experience to the town and the connections in and around the town centre, in support of the Town Centre Masterplan.

In the exciting world of tourism, Cllr Plant highlighted the council’s £2.7m restoration of the historic Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake, the exciting investment planned in a new destination water and leisure complex on the Golden Mile, Gorleston’s new splashpad and beach huts, and the visits by luxury cruise liners.

He also welcomed the private sector investment in tourism that is showing huge confidence in the resort, including the first phase of The Edge leisure complex, incorporating a Premier Inn and Beefeater Restaurant, and the start of work to redevelop the fire site in Regent Road. 

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