TOWARDS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR SUFFOLK by wyf14327

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									TOWARDS AN ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR
SUFFOLK

Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers,
and Baseline Analysis
TOWARDS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR SUFFOLK

Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis




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JC3849                                                      February 2004
                            TABLE OF CONTENTS



                                                           PAGE


SECTION A: THEMATIC ISSUES PAPERS


A1   Innovation                                             1

A2   Business competitiveness                               7

A3   Skills and workforce                                  20

A4   Land, property and infrastructure                     27

A5   International perspectives                            36

A6   Environment                                           40

A7   Deprivation and social inclusion                      45

A8   Image and identity                                    50



SECTION B: SPATIAL ISSUES PAPERS


B1   Lowestoft                                             53

B2   Ipswich                                               58

B3   Rural area and market towns                           62

B4   West Suffolk Districts and the Cambridge sub-region   69



SECTION C: BASELINE


C1   Economic baseline                                     73
      SECTION A

THEMATIC ISSUES PAPERS
                                                                                 Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                                              Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis




A1 Innovation

           Current situation


A1.1       A recent report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology
           argued that “the success of a modern economy turns crucially on its ability to innovate – to
           produce goods and services that prosper in increasingly competitive and global markets1”.
           And with its world class research specialisms and high tech business clusters, the East of
           England ranks amongst the most innovative regions in England. At any rate, in 1999, R&D
           spend in the East of England was about £3.3bn – second only to the South East in an absolute
           sense and higher than any other region in per capita terms2.                                         As Figure A1.1 (below)
           confirms, throughout the latter part of the 1990s, the ratio of total research and development
           (R&D) expenditure to regional output was notably higher in the East of England than across
           the UK as a whole. The region’s performance appeared to be especially strong in the domain
           of business R&D, and arguably this indicator ought to be a very close proxy for the level of
           innovation within the economy.

           Figure A1.1


                                                               R&D Expenditure in the East of England as a
                                                           proportion of regional output from 1996-99, normalised
                                                                           against the UK average
                                Measure of concentration




                                                            3.0
                                                            2.5
                                                            2.0                                                     1996
                                       (UK=1.0)




                                                            1.5                                                     1997
                                                            1.0                                                     1998
                                                            0.5                                                     1999
                                                            0.0
                                                                  Business Government    HE R&D     Total R&D
                                                                    R&D       R&D
                                                                                         (Source: Regional Trends, ONS)



A1.2       Against this backdrop, how should we assess the current situation in Suffolk? Unfortunately
           the data presented in Figure A1.1 are not available at a sub-regional scale and thus we must
           examine some alternative indicators.                                In the paragraphs below, we consider in turn the
           provision of higher education, the level of innovation across the business base and, finally, the
           range and scope of Suffolk’s infrastructure to support innovation.

1
    “Science and the RDAs: SETting the regional agenda” Report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and
     Technology, 2003
2
    “Science and the RDAs: SETting the regional agenda” Report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and
     Technology, 2003



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                                                   Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis


       Innovation and Higher Education


A1.3   The presence of a university is often seen as a pre-requisite for sustained and sustainable
       innovation within a local economy: a good university can be a source of highly skilled
       labour, a focus for an intellectually stimulating local economy, and a source of knowledge
       that can drive innovation. Suffolk is the only county in the East of England without a
       university. As such, the county is immediately at something of a disadvantage in this domain.

A1.4   However, higher education courses are being delivered in Suffolk:            Suffolk and Otley
       Colleges are accredited by UEA, and West Suffolk and Lowestoft Colleges have franchise
       arrangements with APU. In addition, a number of higher education institutions have a
       physical presence within the county: UCL carries out engineering research and delivers
       postgraduate courses on Adastral Park, UEA has a presence in collaboration with Suffolk
       College (called Create), and CMI (Cambridge-Massachusetts Institute) also has an outpost on
       Adastral Park. Nevertheless, partners within the county have long considered the relative
       dearth of higher education as a cause for concern.

       Businesses and Innovation


A1.5   Levels of business innovation are very difficult to measure, not least because innovation is as
       much a process and a culture as it is a tangible “product”.

A1.6   Amongst Suffolk’s larger businesses, there is certainly evidence of research and development
       activity: the “fuel” for innovation. BT Exact – located on Adastral Park near Ipswich – is the
       focus for all of BT’s research activity and it currently employs some 3,000 people within
       Suffolk. Although it has been affected by the global down-turn in telecommunications, BT
       Exact has provided a magnet for a number of R&D-based companies and HEIs: its
       importance in terms of innovation across the economy of Suffolk should not be
       underestimated.

A1.7   Across smaller businesses, measuring “innovation” – or even “capacity for innovation” – is
       immensely difficult and there is no widely recognised metric. The distribution of SMART
       (Small Firms Merit Award for Research and Technology) Awards provides one proxy; these
       are government grants which are given to establish the feasibility of innovations and
       inventions, and to help the development of products through to the pre-production state.
       Table A1.1 below shows the number of SMART Awards that were allocated across the East
       of England in 2002 and 2003. It compares these data with the total business stock.




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       Table A1.1: Distribution of SMART Awards across the East of England


                                    SMART Awards 2002-03             Business Stock end 1999         Concentration
                                    Number             %             Number              %            co-efficient
           Bedfordshire                      22             9%            16205               10%                    0.9
           Cambridgeshire                 103              44%            22680               14%                    3.2
           Essex                             28            12%            45430               28%                    0.4
           Hertfordshire                     27            12%            36305               22%                    0.5
           Norfolk                           21             9%            22605               14%                    0.6
           Suffolk                           33            14%            20045               12%                    1.1
           Regional total                 234              100%          163270               100%                   1.0
           (Source: SMART Winners East Directory 2002 and 2003/04; Region in Figures, 2001)



A1.8   From these data, the relative and absolute importance of Cambridgeshire is clearly apparent:
       it accounts for almost half of all SMART Awards in the region. Although some way behind,
       Suffolk appears to be the second most innovative county in the East of England: over the
       period 2002-03, the county achieved 14% of the region’s SMART awards, and it did so with
       just 12% of the region’s business stock.

A1.9   Digging a little deeper, it is apparent that the 33 winners of SMART Awards from Suffolk are
       scattered geographically across the county: a quick review of addresses suggests that Bury St
       Edmunds can claim the largest number (6), followed by Ipswich (5) and Newmarket (3),
       Sudbury (3) and Woodbridge (3). The key point to note from this analysis is that innovative
       companies appear to exist in urban and rural parts of the county and hence we can infer that
       the drivers of innovation within Suffolk are also spatially distributed. However there are also
       some notable gaps: for example, Lowestoft and Haverhill are missing from the list.

       Infrastructures to support innovation


A1.10 Notwithstanding the lack of a dedicated higher education institution within the county, there
       are some important resources that are available to nurture innovative businesses:

       •             Adastral Park is a 45 hectare site which is wholly owned by BT. It is a former RAF
                     base and is located to the north east of Ipswich. As well as being the owner of
                     Adastral Park, BT Exact – the research and development unit for the whole of BT –
                     is the major occupant and well over 3,000 people are employed on the site by it.
                     However it is not the exclusive occupant. BT has invested some £60m in the site
                     over the last 4-5 years and – at least in part – the purpose of this was to attract inward
                     investors. And there have been some successes, the majority of which have very
                     close links with operations at BT Exact: Fujitsu is one example. In addition, BT
                     Exact established Brightstar – an incubator and corporate venturing partnership with
                     exclusive rights to create new start-up businesses on the back of BT’s intellectual
                     property portfolio. In a real sense, therefore, Adastral Park has been developed as a




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                     physically concentrated cluster embracing BT Exact and a number of close
                     collaborators, both partners and spin-outs

           •         The Technology Centre, Framlingham is an independent business incubation centre
                     which provides 17,000 sq ft of incubator space and currently has about 20 tenants.
                     The thinking behind the concept was that creative entrepreneurs might – together –
                     help to address rural economic decline and hence, the Technology Centre has
                     emerged to help effect this outcome. Specifically, the intention was that small
                     businesses from a range of high tech disciplines could co-locate and – under the
                     umbrella of the Technology Centre – compete for comparatively large and complex
                     contracts.

           Key drivers


A1.11 Summarising the key drivers across the domain of innovation is difficult. However we can
           make a number of general observations that are likely to have particular ramifications for
           Suffolk:

           •         first, government policy suggests that so-called “third stream” funding (now HEIF)
                     will become increasingly important. This was launched in 2000 through HEROBAC
                     by HEFCE with support from DTI to facilitate a more strategic approach to the
                     interface between HEIs and businesses; the intention was to establish a third core
                     area of professional work in universities alongside teaching and research to encourage
                     engagement with business and thus to support a strong economy. Although the “third
                     stream” is still in its infancy, it clearly brings with it a risk for businesses in Suffolk:
                     specifically, in the context of limited local HE provision, there is a danger that these
                     businesses could lose out as the resources and knowledge generated by the UK’s
                     universities starts to be made more accessible

           •         second – and related – the House of Lords Select Committee which recently reported
                     on Science and the RDAs3 argued strongly for a rationalisation of activity at the
                     interface between research and economic development in order to effect more
                     efficient and effective outcomes. In the context of a county in which there is limited
                     activity of this nature, the dangers associated with any future “rationalisation” are
                     clear

           •         third, much of the R&D that takes place in Suffolk appears to be related – more or
                     less closely – to telecommunications. BT Exact is obviously the clearest
                     manifestation, but it is not the only one: a review of the activities of firms that had
                     received SMART Awards also suggested a strong concentration of activity in this



3
    “Science and the RDAs: SETting the regional agenda” Report from the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and
     Technology, 2003



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                                                           Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
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                      area. As the recent telecommunications down-turn has clearly demonstrated, this
                      level of specialisation is clearly double-edged

           •          fourth, whilst there is other corporate R&D activity within Suffolk, it is more modest
                      in scale. The food and drink industry, for example, has some research presence:
                      Nickerson’s UK wheat programme is, for example, based at Woolpit in Suffolk4

           •          fifth, whilst quantifying the extent of R&D activity in Suffolk is intrinsically difficult,
                      there is acknowledgement among partners that the sector is under-represented within
                      the county, and that this is a weakness.

           Key initiatives / actions


A1.12 In March 2002, work was completed on a Regional Innovation and Technology Transfer
           Strategy (RITTS) for the East of England. This emphasised the importance of exploiting
           regional strengths, fostering an enterprise culture, and improving access to technology and
           innovation support. Various action plans have been developed in response and these are now
           being taken forward by Innovation East, a partnership which has been set up with the remit of
           “providing coherent strategic monitoring for the East of England innovation priorities in
           order to provide value added outcomes for the region’s economy and its businesses”5.
           Against this overall backdrop, a number of key initiatives have been highlighted by EEDA at
           a regional scale:

           •          Innovative Actions is a programme which is co-financed by ERDF in order to
                      encourage business-to-business networking and other innovative networks. In
                      Suffolk, the “Collaborate-2-Innovate” project – which was launched on 24th
                      September, 2003 – has been supported through this venture: its principal aim is to
                      support networking amongst technology-based companies

           •          Innovation Facilitation Service (Innovation Exchange) will provide a first stop
                      shop for businesses seeking innovation support

           •          Regional Infrastructure for Innovation (RII), now called I10 is a collaboration of
                      the higher education institutions in the East of England, and its objective is to
                      capitalise on the opportunities for knowledge sharing and collaboration amongst the
                      region’s Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), local business and industry, in order to
                      create wealth through supporting and enhancing the processes of technology transfer
                      and innovation. The venture – which is led by the University of Cambridge – has
                      been awarded £4.5m funding (from HEIF) over three years and its aim is to provide
                      appropriate virtual and physical environments for innovation


4
    www.nickersonuk.com
5
    www.eeda.org.uk



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       •       Enterprise Hubs are defined as “networks of high-level support for the region’s
               knowledge-based pre-start, start-up and early-stage businesses”. To date, pilots have
               been launched in Stevenage and Babraham (Cambridge). In Suffolk, work is being
               completed by Transitions to examine the feasibility of creating an enterprise hub.

       Emerging priorities


A1.13 Against the backdrop set out above – and our wider analysis of the Suffolk economy –
       emerging priorities in the domain of innovation would appear to include the following:

       •       there is a need to continue to take actions to ensure that Suffolk’s limited HE
               provision does not doubly disadvantage the county’s businesses:              engaging
               constructively and proactively with regional initiatives such as I10 would seem to be
               a priority

       •       Framlingham Technology Centre appears to have demonstrated the scope, potential
               and importance of value-added entrepreneurship in rural parts of the economy. Steps
               ought to be taken to build upon its successes

       •       there is a need to continue to encourage the development of Enterprise Hubs within
               Suffolk

       •       this brief review has highlighted some of Suffolk’s vulnerabilities in the domain of
               innovation. In particular, innovative activity seems to be especially concentrated in
               the ICT sector. While this brings some advantages, there are clearly also some
               dangers. Arguably, innovative activity ought to be encouraged particularly in order to
               help diversify the economy; this could mean working with indigenous businesses to
               effect change (and the agri-food industry would be an obvious target in this context)
               and/or encouraging innovation through entrepreneurship

       •       innovation does not – on the face of it – appear to be a strong feature of traditional
               sectors and clusters; in developing a forward-looking economic development
               strategy, this is an important concern.




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                                                                 Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                              Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis



A2 Business competitiveness

            Current situation


A2.1        Data from Business Link for Suffolk suggest that there were – in January 2002 – just over
            21,000 businesses within Suffolk6. Of these, around 150 – less than 1% of the total –
            employed more than 200 people; conversely nearly 12,000 businesses – well over 50% –
            employed fewer than 6 people7. Thus Suffolk – like other predominantly rural counties – is
            essentially a small firm economy. Table A2.1 shows the distribution of business units by size
            and sector within Suffolk, normalised against the regional average; overall, this suggests a
            slightly lower incidence of the largest units, particularly in service activities. Conversely, the
            incidence of large manufacturing units within the manufacturing base is higher in Suffolk
            than elsewhere.

            Table A2.1: Distribution by size of business units in Suffolk by sector, normalised
            against the sectoral average for the East of England8

                                                                                      Employee Size Band
                                                                      1-10            11-49          50-199           200+
              1 : Agriculture and fishing                              1.0             0.8             0.8             0.0
              2 : Energy and water                                     1.0             0.8             0.8             2.4
              3 : Manufacturing                                        1.0             1.1             1.1             1.2
              4 : Construction                                         1.0             1.2             1.3             0.9
              5 : Distribution, hotels and restaurants                 1.0             1.1             1.1             0.6
              6 : Transport and communications                         1.0             1.1             1.2             1.1
              7 : Banking, finance and insurance, etc                  1.0             1.0             0.8             0.6
              8 : Public administration, education & health            1.1             1.0             0.8             0.8
              9 : Other services                                       1.0             1.1             0.8             0.5
              Total                                                    1.0             1.1             1.0             0.9




A2.2        Sectorally, the economy is diverse. Consistent with the pattern across the UK, the largest
            sectors (in terms of employment) are retail (34,000 jobs), health and social work (32,000 jobs)
            and ‘other’ business services (23,000 jobs). In terms of relative patterns of concentration,
            Suffolk’s distinctive sectors include agriculture (with a location quotient of 2.0), food and
            drink manufacturing (LQ of 2.2), services in support of transport (LQ of 2.1) and post and
            telecommunications (LQ of 1.6). In addition, there are a number of distinctive specialisms

6
    Quantifying the size of the business base is not easy and different sources do suggest rather different numbers. Information
    from National Statistics (dated Summer 2001) suggests that there were 30,700 business sites (registered for VAT and/or
    PAYE) within the county while the stock of VAT-registered businesses was estimated to be 20,045
7
    Suffolk Business Profile: Information and Analysis - Prepared in January 2002 by Business Link for Suffolk Ltd
8
    Based on information from ABI, sourced by SDA



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                                                   Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
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       that are not easy to identify through data but are known to be locally important; key examples
       are bloodstock around Newmarket and renewable energy in the Lowestoft area. Table A2.5
       (at the end of this chapter) provides a summary analysis of Suffolk’s key sectors and it
       identifies a range of issues relating to their medium term prospects.

A2.3   In the paragraphs that follow, we attempt to unpack elements of this distinctive business
       profile focusing firstly on the 150 or so larger businesses and secondly on the 12,000 small
       and micro enterprises together with the associated processes of new business formation.

       Suffolk’s large businesses and other large employers


A2.4   From Business Link for Suffolk’s company database, it is possible to derive a profile of the
       150 largest businesses – or, more accurately, organisations – in terms of employment within
       the county. Closer inspection reveals that some 145 of these organisations employ 200 or
       more people within the county and together, these employers account for about 93,000 jobs –
       almost a third of the total. For this reason, it is important to understand something of their
       competitive position and prospects, for these are likely to have significant implications for the
       health of the wider Suffolk economy.

A2.5   Spatially, one third of the larger employers are based in Ipswich. Lowestoft and Bury St
       Edmunds each have around 20 and the remaining 60 large organisations are scattered around
       the county: 10 in Haverhill, 9 in Sudbury, 8 in Stowmarket through to one in each of
       Saxmundham and Haleworth.

A2.6   Sectorally, 29 of the large employers are found within the public sector – principally local
       authorities, educational establishments and hospitals. Food and drink processing can claim 15
       – 10% of the total – and “other” manufacturing accounts for a further 32; in total, these
       production industries can claim almost a quarter of the large organisation employment
       Looking again at the employment numbers, retail and leisure also feature strongly. Another
       characteristic that is – perhaps – more distinctive to Suffolk concerns the incidence of large
       businesses in telecoms (4 firms with employment of greater than 200) and energy (5 large
       firms).

A2.7   Arguably this sectoral mix across the large business base points to some of the distinctive
       features of Suffolk in sub-regional terms.        The public sector aside, the economy is
       characterised by a high incidence of large firms in mature/declining sectors in which wage
       levels and margins are under pressure and firms have – typically – been seeking to rationalise
       capacity; food and drink is perhaps the clearest example. But also within Suffolk, there is
       evidence of large businesses within sectors which are likely to experience significant growth
       over the medium term; telecoms should arguably be included within this group.




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                                                              Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                           Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis


A2.8        Over the recent past, Suffolk has witnessed sizeable numbers of redundancies – particularly
            from among the larger employers – in both traditional and growth sectors. On the basis of
            information assembled by SDA from both Job Centre Plus and the District Councils, Table
            A2.2 below provides an analysis of recent job losses, many of which have occurred within
            blue chip and high profile businesses;                examples include Powergen (TXU), Agilent
            Technologies and Shell. Across these businesses, the reasons cited for the redundancies have
            varied. In the telecoms sector, job cuts have been explained in terms of the general economic
            slowdown. In other sectors, reasons are purportedly related to the need to move operations to
            lower cost locations elsewhere in the world (particularly in the manufacturing sectors);
            relocation as a result of consolidating multiple sites / operations; and takeovers. One Ipswich
            based company also mentioned the difficulty of recruiting staff as part of the reason for its
            closure. The trends and processes underlying all of these individual situations need to be
            taken into account in identifying Suffolk’s economic development priorities over the years
            ahead.

            Table A2.2: Redundancies by Sector in Suffolk, 2002/039

             Sector                                   No. Redundancies                        Companies Affected
             Energy                                          900                                     2
             Food                                            355                                      5
             Transport                                       323                                      3
             Pharmaceuticals                                 120                                     1
             ICT                                             100                                      1
             Printing                                         90                                     1
             Leisure                                          75                                     2
             Technology                                       51                                     1
             Telecoms                                      Unknown                                   1
             Other Manufacturing                             465                                     7
             Other Services                                   18                                     2
             Total                                          2497                                     26




            Business start-up and the population of small and micro businesses within the Suffolk
            economy


A2.9        Notwithstanding the size of the micro-business base, a distinctive feature of the economy of
            Suffolk is a relatively low rate of new firm formation; data presented in Section C suggest
            that VAT registration rates as a proportion of the business stock have consistently been
            around one percentage point lower in Suffolk than the regional average. Measured in terms of
            the start-up rate per 10,000 population, the conclusion is similar; start-up rates are lower than
            the regional average10. Against this backdrop, there are some distinctive differences within
            Suffolk; in 2000, for example, the business birth rate (as a percentage of the business stock)
            varied from 8% in Waveney to 15% in Ipswich11.


9
    Information assembled by SDA from both Job Centre Plus and the District Councils (NB: may not be comprehensive)
10
     “East of England Business Start-Up Strategy, Consultation Draft”, December 2003 page 9
11
     “Area needs analysis for Suffolk” – report prepared for LSC Suffolk by BMG, September 2003



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A2.10 The issues facing Waveney district in terms of low levels of entrepreneurship have been the
            subject of in-depth investigation. Based on survey evidence, Transitions identified that 79%
            of the population of Lowestoft and Waveney might be identified as “avoiders” in terms of
            entrepreneur status, compared to 70% nationally. Barriers to entrepreneurship cited by the
            “avoiders” included the difficulty of accessing finance, the chance of business failure and fear
            of getting into debt. Within this context, Transitions concluded that steps ought to be taken to
            strengthen leadership within the area, to identify champions (which may be drawn from social
            enterprise), to encourage entrepreneurship teaching in schools and colleges, to improve access
            to information/support services and finance, and to improve both the hard and soft
            infrastructures for entrepreneurship12.

A2.11 In some other predominantly rural counties, low registration rates seem to be accompanied by
            higher than average rates of self employment suggesting that there are de facto many new
            businesses, albeit operating below the VAT threshold. In Suffolk however, rates of self
            employment also appear to be below the regional average. Given the high incidence of
            SMEs, this would all tend to suggest a business base that is quite stable but within which
            there is a high incidence of micro-enterprises experiencing little or no growth.

A2.12 In general terms, small and micro businesses constitute a significant challenge for any
            economic strategy: they have a disparate set of needs and wants and identifying those with
            serious growth potential is not easy. Sectorally, the profile of small and micro businesses is –
            as Table A2.3 demonstrates – very similar to the “all business” profile; given that businesses
            employing fewer than six people account for over half of all businesses, this may be
            unsurprising. In absolute terms, the largest number of micro businesses is recorded in “trade”
            (over 3,000), real estate (2,000) and manufacturing (1,200).




12
     “Entrepreneurial Intensity in Lowestoft and Waveney”: A Report by Transitions to Business Link Suffolk and partners,
     June 2003



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            Table A2.3: Sectoral distribution of businesses in Suffolk, by size-band, normalised
            against the total population of businesses in the county13

                                                                                   Employee Size-Band
                                                                under 6                   6-10                       >200
             A Agriculture                                           1.0                      0.5                       0.0
             B Fishing                                               1.8                      0.0                       0.0
             C Mining                                                0.7                      0.9                       6.4
             D Manufacture                                           0.9                      1.1                       2.8
             E Electricity                                           0.5                      0.4                      36.4
             F Construction                                          1.2                      0.7                       0.6
             G Trade                                                 1.1                      1.2                       0.6
             H Hotels                                                1.0                      1.1                       0.3
             I Transport                                             0.8                      1.3                       1.3
             J Financial                                             0.7                      1.6                       2.0
             K Real estate                                           1.2                      0.9                       0.4
             L Public                                                0.4                      0.5                      16.2
             M Education                                             0.5                      1.0                       1.9
             N Health                                                0.7                      0.9                       1.1
             O Community                                             1.0                      0.9                       0.2
             P Private                                               1.3                      0.0                       0.0
             Others                                                  1.0                      0.5                       0.0
             TOTAL                                                   1.0                      1.0                       1.0



            Business Needs


A2.13 In order to inform its business plan, Business Link for Suffolk led a programme of research
            among firms in Suffolk. The business base was segmented into six groups on the basis of
            geography and performance, and across these segments, distinctive needs and wants were
            identified. Table A2.4 provides a summary analysis.

            Table A2.4: Business needs and wants within Suffolk’s business base

             Segment          Definition                  Sectors                            Identified needs
             Businesses       Sectors in which            • Agriculture                      •   Sales
             within mature    employment has              • Wholesale and retail             •   Cash flow issues
             industries       changed by up to 10%        • Hotels and restaurants           •   Staff recruitment
                              (either up or down) since
                                                                                             •   Competitor analysis and
                              1995
                                                                                                 research
             Businesses       Sectors in which            •   Construction                   •   Staff recruitment and retention
             within high      employment has grown        •   Water transport                •   Securing finance
             growth           by more than 10% since      •   Travel agencies                •   CRM
             industries       1995
                                                          •   Telecoms                       •   Cash flow issues
                                                          •   Financial intermediation       •   Staff training
                                                          •   Real estate                    •   Marketing
             Businesses       Sectors in which            • Food processing                  •   Business survival
             within           employment has              • Electrical, textile, machinery   •   Cash flow issues
             declining        declined by more than         and fabrication manufacturers    •   Profitability
             industries       10% since 1995              • Motor vehicle sales              •   Downsizing
                                                          • Printing                         •   Staff and skill shortages
             Businesses       Businesses based in         • All sectors                      •   Sales
             within           Waveney district                                               •   Cash flow issues
             Waveney                                                                         •   Profitability
                                                                                             •   Staff and skill shortages




13
     Based on data from “Suffolk Business Profile: Information and Analysis” – January 2003



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           Segment        Definition                 Sectors                         Identified needs
           Businesses     Businesses with a rural    •   Agriculture                 •   Managing and securing finance
           within rural   area and with particular   •   Food processing             •   E-commerce
           areas          rural issues               •   Hotels and restaurants      •   Farm diversification
                                                     •   Construction                •   Sales
                                                                                     •   Staff and skills shortages
           Business       Young firms up to 18       • All sectors                   •   Raising capital
           start-ups      months old                                                 •   Business planning
                                                                                     •   IT
                                                                                     •   Sales



       Emerging Priorities


A2.14 From the arguments and observations summarised above – and in the light of the statistical
       baseline presented in Section C – we would draw the following conclusions with regard to
       business competitiveness:

       •           Suffolk is an overwhelmingly small firm economy – initiatives to support economic
                   development will need to take this into account, recognising that it brings with it
                   some major challenges in terms of delivery

       •           data suggest that Suffolk may not be as entrepreneurial as other areas in the East of
                   England. This is known to be a particular issue in and around Lowestoft and – more
                   generally – it could be that initiatives to create a more entrepreneurial culture could
                   be extremely effective. In this overall context, the phenomenon of the in-moving
                   entrepreneur ought to be supported creatively, as should the process of social
                   enterprise

       •           Suffolk is likely to struggle to attract major new investment, partly because there are
                   simply few “wins” to be had, and partly because it just does not have large
                   employment sites or a sizeable pool of labour which are likely to be pre-requisites for
                   sizeable investors. Thus if the structure of the economy is going to change, the
                   growth dynamic needs to come from other sources. The existing SME base is a
                   resource for the county in these terms and across this domain, there is a need to
                   increase the aspiration to develop, diversify and grow. Key to this will be issues
                   relating to succession: this is a major issue amongst many owner-managed
                   businesses

       •           at one level – in terms of providing an environment for entrepreneurship – the county
                   has much to offer, not least the very high quality of life. This needs to be translated
                   into a clear “offer” to would-be entrepreneurs and this in turn needs to be
                   communicated effectively. Beyond this, there is arguably scope for supporting
                   “entrepreneurship communities” across the rural economy. In this context, women
                   entrepreneurs – often within diversifying farm businesses – may be a particular
                   priority



                                                                                                                    12
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            •        although ICT – as an industry – has clearly played a catalytic role within the
                     economy, there is a need to achieve greater critical mass and to increase levels of
                     embeddedness: if a company like BT Exact chose to move its operations away from
                     Suffolk, the economy would be affected greatly. Defensive actions ought therefore to
                     be developed

            •        parts of the economy of Suffolk are very vulnerable to further rationalisation and
                     restructuring: the agri-food industries are one example. Thus attempts to diversify
                     and modernise the economy must be made, albeit in a manner which is consistent
                     with – and sensitive to – Suffolk’s particular assets

            •        in addition, adding value must be a constant refrain. Suffolk does not have a large
                     unemployed workforce and thus output improvements will only be achieved through
                     enhanced productivity. Moreover, productivity – particularly in manufacturing – is
                     currently reported to be low14

            •        there have been a number of attempts to effect business-to-business networking
                     through, for example, IP-City. Evidence suggests that networking of this type can
                     add significantly to competitiveness.




14
     “Business Link for Suffolk Business Plan”, 2002-03, page 4



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            Table A2.5: Summary analysis of Key Sectors across Suffolk

                                15            Spatial                                     Business                                    Land, property
                        Scale                                      Innovation                                     Skills                                       International          Environment
                                           perspectives                               competitiveness                               and infrastructure
Agriculture        • 6,800 jobs         • Remains an           • In Suffolk – like   • Farm businesses      • Major issues          • A key                 • Farms in Suffolk     • The farming
                   • Incidence of         important part of      elsewhere –           have been under        around labour            infrastructure for     – as elsewhere         industry
                     employment in        the economy in all     agriculture has       substantial            supply across            livestock farmers      in England –           contributes
                     the sector is        rural areas            been under            financial              both ends of an          is the provision       have been under        significantly to
                     double the         • Agriculture in         enormous              pressure in the        increasingly             of abattoirs –         pressure               the quality of the
                     national             Suffolk is             pressure in part      context of falling     polarised                increasingly the       because of             rural
                     average              dominated by           because of a          prices,                workforce                smaller ones           commodity              environment
                                          pigs, poultry and      failure to            unfavourable         • For farm                 have closed            imports.             • The relationship
                                          cereals (wheat         innovate. In          exchange               businesses,           • Broadband               Relatively little      will strengthen
                                          and barley)            general terms         ranges and             marketing –              connectivity is        agricultural           with the
                                                                 there is a need       increasing             rather than              likely to be           produce is             increased
                                                                 to increase the       competition            production –             increasingly           exported               importance
                                                                 extent to which     • Fragmentation          skills are a             important            • Reforms to the         attached to AES
                                                                 businesses are        vis-à-vis              priority                                        Common               • Emerging issues
                                                                 customer-facing       customers            • Otley College is                                Agricultural           around water
                                                                                       remains a key          an important                                    Policy will have a     supply
                                                                                       issue                  resource                                        substantial
                                                                                                                                                              impact on farm
                                                                                                                                                              businesses
                                                                                                                                                              within Suffolk
                                                                                                                                                              and elsewhere




15
     Employment data have been generated from ABI and relate to 2001; figures have been rounded to the nearest 100 jobs



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                                 15            Spatial                                      Business                                 Land, property
                         Scale                                      Innovation                                     Skills                                    International            Environment
                                            perspectives                                 competitiveness                           and infrastructure
Bloodstock         •                     • Heavily              •                    •                      •                      • There is some        • Newmarket is an       •
                                           concentrated in                                                                            evidence of           international
                                           and around                                                                                 development           location in terms
                                           Newmarket: a                                                                               pressure in           of racing; it is a
                                           genuine cluster                                                                            Newmarket and         distinctive part of
                                                                                                                                      stables, etc. may     Suffolk’s
                                                                                                                                      be under threat       international
                                                                                                                                      from the              offer
                                                                                                                                      possibility for
                                                                                                                                      higher value land
                                                                                                                                      use
                                                                                                                                   • Crown Charter
                                                                                                                                      has implications
                                                                                                                                      for land around
                                                                                                                                      Newmarket
Cultural and       • 12,600 jobs in      • There are key        • Goldsmith’s        • Many micro-          • Likely to be         • Concern that         • Some of               • The environment
creative             Suffolk (on the       cultural venues        college has a        businesses / self      requirements for       high land values       Suffolk’s               is part of
                     basis of the          across Suffolk         presence within      employed – e.g.        generic micro-         may be                 principal arts          Suffolk’s cultural
                     DCMS                  such as                the county           there are a large      business skills        squeezing out          venues are of           offer – e.g. there
                     definition of the     Aldeburgh and        • There is concern     number of            • Training,              businesses from        international           are wildlife and
                     sector)               Newmarket              that potential       artists, following     development            the creative and       importance –            landscape sites
                   • No recent           • The Suffolk Coast      space for            on from                and support            cultural               notably                 of international
                     assessment of         has become a           innovation has       Constable and          needs of the           industries             Aldeburgh and           importance in
                     economic              focus for music,       been out-bid by      Gainsborough           voluntary cultural                            Newmarket               the coasts and
                     benefit of            and the visual and     housing            • Many social            sector reported                                                       heathland
                                                                                                                              16
                     Suffolk’s             performing arts                             enterprises in         to be unknown
                     cultural activity                                                 the sector with
                                                                                       particular needs
                                                                                     • Limited
                                                                                       collaboration
                                                                                       between cultural
                                                                                       businesses




16
     “Towards a Suffolk Cultural Strategy” – Suffolk County Council



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                             15            Spatial                                     Business                                  Land, property
                     Scale                                      Innovation                                     Skills                                    International          Environment
                                        perspectives                                competitiveness                            and infrastructure
Energy          • About 3,600        • Strong feature of    • The whole            • Non-renewable       • Currently the       • Plans are afoot      • Scandinavia         • Offshore
                  jobs across all      coastal                renewables             energy                skills base for        for a renewable       seems to be           renewable
                  sectors              economies –            sector is an           companies have        the energy             energy centre of      leading the way       energy should
                • Incidence of         offshore energy        innovation and –       been under            sector seems to        excellence in the     in renewables         contribute
                  employment is        (both renewable        over the               significant           be good, but this      Lowestoft-Great       and this is both      significantly to
                  relatively high      and non-               medium-long            pressure and          will need to be        Yarmouth area         an opportunity        environmental
                                       renewable)             term – it should       there have been       replenished         • Access to              and a threat for      performance
                                       concentrated in        grow significantly     recent plant                                 Lowestoft             Lowestoft           • Energy crops
                                       Lowestoft and          in line with           closures and job                             remains an issue    • Non-renewable         may also have a
                                       nuclear energy at      Government             losses – e.g.                                for this sector       energy sector is      positive
                                       Sizewell               policy                 Shell at                                                           highly                contribution to
                                     • Potentially,         • The proposed           Lowestoft                                                          internationalised     make
                                       energy crops           renewable                                                                                                     • Potential
                                       could play a key       energy centre of                                                                                                controversy in
                                       role in the sector     excellence                                                                                                      terms of impact
                                       and these would        should help                                                                                                     – e.g. wind farms
                                       have a particular      facilitate                                                                                                      on-shore
                                       geography              innovation                                                                                                    • Generation of
                                                                                                                                                                              energy from
                                                                                                                                                                              waste products
                                                                                                                                                                              may lead to
                                                                                                                                                                              environmental
                                                                                                                                                                              improvements
Financial and   • About 40,100       • 8% of                • Product              • Sector has been     •                     • Sector requires      • Major challenge     •
business          jobs within the      employment in          innovation is          under a good                                good broadband         for the sector as
services          county               Ipswich Borough        likely to be key       deal of pressure                            connectivity and       routine back
                • County-wide          is in financial        to moving              in the recent                               high quality           office functions
                  the incidence of     services               forward                past, but there                             office space           are increasingly
                  employment is        compared to 3%                                remain important                                                   relocated
                  similar to GB        county-wide;                                  niches within                                                      offshore
                • Employment           business services                             Suffolk – notably
                  growth is            are more evenly                               insurance in
                  projected in the     distributed                                   Ipswich
                  period 2000-       • Within Ipswich
                  2010: 11% in         there are some
                  banking and          big employers
                  finance and 4%       from within the
                  in insurance         sector




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                         15             Spatial                                      Business                                    Land, property
                 Scale                                      Innovation                                         Skills                                     International             Environment
                                    perspectives                                 competitiveness                               and infrastructure
Food and   • About 11,500        • Mid Suffolk,         • Many                  • The sector has        • Labour supply is     • Many food sites       • Highly                  • Major issues
drink        jobs                  Babergh and            businesses in           been under              a major concern         are in need of         internationalised         regarding water
           • Incidence of          Waveney have a         the industry are        pressure and            for the sector –        reinvestment           and EU                    supply and there
             employment            particularly           under huge              there are likely to     difficult to find    • Some food               expansion could           are also
             more than             significant            pressure such           be further job          sufficient              businesses are         represent a               concerns
             double the            presence, but          that they have          losses. However         numbers of              seeking to             further threat.           surrounding the
             national              there are key          little option other     there has also          manual workers          realise the            However it is             costs of effluent
             average               businesses             than to be              been some good          and difficult to        development            also an                   disposal
           • Employment            located across the     innovative.             news – such as          attract graduates       values                 opportunity and         • Strict
             projected to          county. For            However                 the relocation of       into the industry       associated with        the county’s food         interpretation of
             decline by 13%        example:               protecting IP in        Branston Pickle       • Need fewer,             their sites – this     businesses                regulations may
             in Suffolk in the     Adnams in              the industry is         production from         better qualified        is a threat to the     ought to be               disadvantage
             period 2000-          Southwold,             difficult and it is     Derbyshire to           people                  industry               encouraged to             Suffolk
             2010                  Greene King and        one reason why          Bury St               • Food Skills          • Broadband is            respond                   producers
                                   British Sugar in       collaboration is        Edmunds                 Centre at Otley         increasingly                                   • Planning issues
                                   Bury, Birds Eye in     limited               • Suffolk brewers         College ought to        important                                        with regard to
                                   Lowestoft,           • There are               (Greene King,           be a significant                                                         the expansion of
                                                                                                                               • Abattoirs are a
                                   Muntons in             proposals for an        Adnams) are             resource                                                                 intensive
                                                                                                                                  key
                                   Stowmarket,            incubator facility      performing                                                                                       livestock
                                                                                                                                  infrastructure for
                                   Grampian in            at Otley College        strongly                                                                                         production
                                                                                                                                  meat producers;
                                   Haverhill, etc.
                                                                                                                                  the closure of
                                                                                                                                  abattoirs is an
                                                                                                                                  issue
ICT        • Around 17,700       • Telecoms industry    • BT Exact is BT’s      • Suffolk’s ICT         • During the late      • Adastral Park is      • ICT businesses          • The quality of life
             jobs, based on        is dominated by        main site for           industry has            1990s, there           the major site for      – even small              provided by
             the CCC               BT Exact at            R&D and so              been badly hit by       were major skills      telecoms activity       ones – are                Suffolk’s
             definition            Adastral Park but      innovation              the global              and labour             in Suffolk              operating                 environment has
           • High relative         Ipswich has also       should be central       telecoms                shortages            • Supply of               internationally.          been important
             concentration,        been important         to ICT in Suffolk       downturn and          • The recent             appropriate             Suffolk has               in attracting
             particularly in       and there is a       • However outside         there have been         down-turn has          property                limited profile in        people and
             telecoms              scattering of high     of Adastral Park,       a number of             alleviated the         elsewhere is            these terms and           businesses
           • Telecoms is           tech employment        the infrastructure      major casualties        problem                limited and over        it is partly for this     within the sector
             projected to          across the county      for high tech           – e.g. Agilent          although this is       the medium term         reason that the
             grow by 6% and                               innovation                                      thought to be a        this will be an         concept of the
             computing                                    seems quite                                     temporary              issue                   Cambridge to
             services by                                  limited                                         reprieve                                       Ipswich Hi Tech
             21% in terms of                            • Framlingham                                   • Longer term                                    Corridor is so
             employment in                                Technology                                      issues around                                  important
             the period                                   Centre is playing                               scale and critical
             2000-2010                                    an important role                               mass, and the
                                                        • Brightstar is a                                 need for stronger
                                                          key facility                                    global
                                                                                                          positioning




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                             15            Spatial                                    Business                                     Land, property
                     Scale                                      Innovation                                      Skills                                     International         Environment
                                        perspectives                               competitiveness                               and infrastructure
Leisure and     • About 25,500       • Forest Heath has     • At an aggregate     • Some major           • Difficult sector to   • Tourism has          • Need to take        • Quality of the
tourism           jobs based on        a high relative        level, the            players                address because          been a major          steps to capture      environment –
                  the EETB             concentration of       different images      emerging within        of the incidence         focus for farm        passengers to         built environment
                  definition           hotels and             of Suffolk could      the sector, but        of SMEs, but             diversification       Harwich and to        and natural
                • Concentration        restaurants            be marketed           many                   there is a               although there        Stansted, and to      environment – is
                  is about 30%       • There are major        more; a recent        businesses are         general need for         may be limits         build up              a key part of
                  higher than the      development            study identified      small or micro,        better skills in                               international         Suffolk’s tourism
                  national             proposals at a         eight different       and spatially          terms of                                       tourism –             offer
                  average              number of              types of location     dispersed              customer care                                  perhaps linked to
                • Estimated that       locations – e.g.     • Need to cater                                                                               the Cambridge
                  tourism              Snoasis at Great       more for higher-                                                                            offer?
                  provides £600m       Blakenham              spending
                  output             • Links to London        weekend
                                       are strong within      visitors,
                                       the sector             potentially
                                                              through themed
                                                              products
Other           • About 28,500       • Distributed          • Some innovation     • There are a wide     • Skills shortages      • Suffolk seems to     • The
manufacturing     jobs                 around the county      and some new          range of different     in some areas –         have a good            opportunities
                • High local           and often located      businesses, but       manufacturing          e.g. manufacture        provision of sites     associated with
                  concentration in     near to the larger     often these           businesses,            of wood products        suited for             Felixstowe need
                  some sub-            settlements            seem to be            many of which        • Upskilling              medium/low tech        to be seized
                  sectors – e.g.                              isolated              are in low wage        needed                  uses; provision        positively
                  furniture and                               examples              areas                • Agency                  is less good for
                  rubber and                                • More general                                 workforce in            high tech activity
                  plastics                                    diversification                              manufacturing         • Tendency to lose
                • Employment in                               ought to be a                              • Concerns about          established
                  advanced                                    priority                                     the ageing              manufacturing
                  manufacturing                                                                            workforce in            sites to housing
                  is projected to                                                                          many
                  decline by 12%                                                                           manufacturing
                  over the next                                                                            companies
                  decade




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                          15              Spatial                                  Business                                  Land, property
                  Scale                                        Innovation                                 Skills                                    International         Environment
                                      perspectives                              competitiveness                            and infrastructure
Ports and   • About 15,200         • Felixstowe is by      • Scope to add      • Competition from   • Haven Gateway        • Major expansion     • Haven Ports         • Issues around
logistics     jobs in activities     far the biggest         value around        elsewhere – e.g.     Partnership is          proposed at          constitute a very     road and rail
              relating to            port – the UK’s         port activities     Shellhaven,          seeking to              Harwich (Essex)      major                 infrastructure
              transport (and         largest container                           Yarmouth East        address the             which should         international       • Expansion of
              water) and             port and the                                Port proposal        skills issues           help consolidate     gateway and a         ports
              supporting             fourth largest in                                                relating to the         the position of      significant           constrained
              activities             Europe. However                                                  broader                 the wider Haven      conduit for           environmentally
            • High                   there are also                                                   logistics/ports         Gateway              imports and         • Need to address
              concentration in       small ports in both                                              cluster              • Proposal for a        exports               land use
              supporting             Ipswich and                                                                              freight terminal                           requirements of
              activities             Lowestoft                                                                                at Stowmarket                              the expanding
            • Employment is        • The Haven                                                                             • Concerns for                                ports for storage
              projected to           Gateway is the                                                                           elsewhere in                               and handling
              increase by            spatial focus for                                                                        Suffolk relating
              23% between            the wider logistics                                                                      to the volume of
              2000 and 2010          cluster                                                                                  traffic
                                                                                                                           • Potential impact
                                                                                                                              of Stansted
                                                                                                                              growth on south
                                                                                                                              of the county




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A3 Skills and workforce

            Current situation


A3.1        Suffolk’s workforce currently numbers just over 400,00017 people.                       The 2001 Census
            identified, as the LSC Annual Plan points out, that Suffolk had almost ten thousand fewer
            people of working age resident in the county than previous estimates suggested. Despite this
            the population had grown by 5% since the previous Census in 1991 and it is projected to
            continue to grow at an annual rate of 0.5% (2000-2010), slightly lower than the regional
            average18. The census also identified that the 20 to 40 age group in Suffolk makes up a lower
            proportion of the population than the regional average. Economic activity rates indicate that
            over 80% of the working age population are in employment19. Both of these factors may have
            implications for employers as they seek to recruit.

A3.2        The number of jobs in the county in 2002 was estimated to be just over 300,000, representing
            13% of the East of England workforce20 and showing strong growth over the past decade.

A3.3        Current progress in Suffolk towards the National Learning Targets is varied. The table below
            highlights Suffolk’s performance in relation to each of the targets set out in the LSC’s Annual
            Plan 2003-0421. The qualification levels of young people aged 16 is comparable to the
            regional and higher than the national average. In 2002, 56.5% of young people obtained 5
            GCSE’s at grades A* - C22 compared with 51.5% nationally. The highest achievement was
            achieved in Babergh with over 68%, followed by Suffolk Coastal and St Edmundsbury.
            Forest Heath is the district with the lowest achievement (47.5%).




17
     Working age population taken from Census 2001. Age bands include males aged between 15 and 65 and females aged
     between 15 and 60.
18
     The statistics, produced by the Office of National Statistics, are based on Census 2001 and published as Subnational
     Population Projections
19
     The economic activity rate for Suffolk for May 2003 was 82.7%. The LSC Local Strategic Plan 2002-2005 also states that
     81% of the working are population is estimated to be in employment.
20
     Source: Annual Business Inquiry, Annual Employment Survey; Notes: i. Agricultural class 0100 (SIC) data excluded from
     all county figures; ii. 1998 - 2001 data from the Annual Business Inquiry (ABI).
21
     Source: Learning and Skills Council Suffolk, Annual Learning Plan 2003-04 Championing the Power of Learning. Note:
     These targets are broadly based on the National Learning Targets established by the DfES and set in 2002. The Local
     LSC negotiates a local agreement with the National LSC and rolls forward the target on an annual basis.
22
     Source: DfES Statistics



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            Table A3.1 Suffolk’s performance against the Learning Targets23


             The National Learning          LSC Local Targets                                       Suffolk’s Progress
             Targets for 2004
             80% of 16-18 year olds in      83% of 16-18 year olds in structured learning           2000-01    74%
             structured learning
             85% of 19-year-olds with a     86% of 19-year-olds with a "level 2" qualification by   2000-01    80.8%
             level 2 qualification          2004-05


             55% of 19-year-olds with a     49% of 19-year-olds with a "level 3" qualification      2000-01    45%
             level 3 qualification.
             52% of adults with a level 3   38% of adults with a level 3 qualification by 2005      2000-01    33.7%
             qualification
             Raise literacy and numeracy    Raise literacy and numeracy skills of 10,000 adults     2001-02    2,336
             skills of 750,000 adults       by 2004



A3.4        In terms of workforce qualifications, the Suffolk workforce underperforms in comparison to
            the regional and national qualification levels24. Information from the Labour Force Survey
            for May 2003 recorded that in Suffolk:

            •        just under 38% of the working age population had achieved qualifications of Level 3
                     or higher compared with 42% in the East and nearly 44% nationally

            •        slightly over 22% of the working age population had achieved qualifications of Level
                     4 or higher compared with 24% regionally and just under 25% nationally.

A3.5        For both Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications, Suffolk started from a lower base in 1997 and
            over the six year period, it has not matched the increase in qualifications levels achieved in
            the East of England and nationally. In 1997, 34% of the working age population of Suffolk
            had achieved a Level 3 qualification or higher compared with 37% nationally; between 1997
            and 2003 Suffolk experienced an annual increase of 1.6% compared with 2% nationally.

A3.6        Looking in more detail at the county, there are significant differences between the
            qualification levels of the population in each district. The most qualified workforce lives in
            Suffolk Coastal which in May 2003 had 48% of qualified to Level 3 or above and 28.6% to
            Level 4 or above. In contrast, and at the other end of the scale, St Edmundsbury has the least
            qualified population with 30.5% qualified to 3 or higher and 14.8% to Level 4; it may be that
            this pattern both reflects and drives the contrasting sectoral structures.

A3.7        From the employers’ perspective, experience of the local labour market is mixed with more
            negative responses in relation to recruitment but a fairly positive outlook in relation to skills
            gaps and skills shortages:



23
     Derived from various tables in two LSC Suffolk publications: Local Strategic Plan, 2002-05, and Annual Plan 2003-04
24
     Source: Labour Force Survey



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            •         of those businesses recruiting in Suffolk in 1999, 48% were finding one or more
                      vacancy hard-to-fill (more than the regional average of 44%)25. It is also worth
                      noting that among employers in Suffolk, fewer than one in twenty had any hard-to-fill
                      vacancies (slightly fewer than the regional average of 5%). Hard-to-fill vacancies
                      were most likely in Forest Heath (67% of employers) and least likely in Suffolk
                      Coastal (27%). The sectors most likely to face recruitment problems were transport
                      and communications (79% of those with current vacancies), other services (72%),
                      health and social work (68%) and hotels/restaurants (65%). The difficulties most
                      often reported were in occupations with lower and intermediate levels of skills.
                      These were unskilled, plant and machine operator, craft and personal and protective
                      service occupations

            •         only a minority of employers (6% of those surveyed) in Suffolk felt that they had a
                      significant internal skills gap amongst either their managerial or wider workforce.
                      This is well below the regional (12%) and national (15%) average. The main skills
                      gaps are in ICT, practical skills – the ability to carry out job-related tasks – and
                      problem-solving skills. In relation to managers’ skills gaps, management and
                      supervisory skills, professional development and keeping up to date with new
                      developments were most often cited26. This finding however may reflect employers’
                      poor analysis of their current position, future trends and the existing skills of their
                      employees

            •         over two thirds (67%) of businesses in Suffolk provided training for staff in 199927.
                      On the job training was provided by 59% and off the job training by 41%. Both of
                      these figures are higher than the regional and national averages reported by the
                      National Skills Task Force28. While the regional strategy notes that these employers
                      should be celebrated and supported, concerns are expressed about the productivity
                      and profitability of those businesses (a third) that do not provide training. Cost, lack
                      of knowledge about local training and the non-availability of relevant/convenient
                      training courses appear to be significant factors for businesses that do not provide
                      training.




25
     “LSC Suffolk, Employer Survey” 2000
26
     “LSC Suffolk, Employer Survey” 2000
27
     In contrast a 2001 Suffolk Learning Partnership Survey identified that only 31% of the Suffolk workforce had participated
     in any training or learning activity in the previous 12 months.
28
     “LSC Suffolk, Employer Survey”, 2000



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            Key Drivers


A3.8        Success for All29 was published by the Government to set out its agenda to reform and raise
            the standards of further education and training in England. The document describes the
            Government’s strategy to develop an infrastructure that will offer:

            •        learners aged 14-19 greater choice and higher standards with academic and vocational
                     programmes;

            •        adult learners greater access to excellent provision for basic skills, training for work
                     and learning for personal development; and

            •        employers much more productive engagement with a transformed and responsive
                     network of providers committed to meeting regional and sub-regional skills needs.

A3.9        Building further on the national review of the learning infrastructure and national
            performance, Skills for Success was published in July 2003. The White Paper set out the
            Government’s strategy to improve the UK’s productivity and standard of living by ensuring
            that businesses’ skills needs are being met and the workforce is equipped to succeed in
            employment and achieve personal fulfilment.

A3.10 The key challenges that provided the basis for the White Paper30 were that:

            •        employers felt that they were not getting recruits with the right skills and that many
                     organisations undervalued the fact that a better trained workforce can positively affect
                     the bottom line

            •        there are gaps in basic skills; the percentage of the workforce with intermediate skills;
                     mathematics; leadership and management skills

            •        there is a mismatch between employers’ and individuals’ wants from colleges and
                     training providers

            •        many individuals underestimate the fact that better skills and qualifications can bring
                     personal fulfilment and better employment and economic returns

            •        Government and its agencies do not convey clear messages about skills and
                     productivity, and the role of the various organisations remains unclear to employers
                     and individuals.




29
     DfES, “Success for All”, 2002
30
     DfES, “Developing a National Skills Strategy and Delivery Plan: underlying evidence”, 2003



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A3.11 In response, the key themes which characterise the Strategy are:

           •         putting employers’ needs at centre stage

           •         helping employers use skills to achieve more ambitious longer term business success

           •         motivating and supporting learners

           •         enabling colleges and training providers to be more responsive to employers and
                     learners’ needs

           •         joint Government action in a new Skills Alliance.

A3.12 The regional FRESA identifies and prioritises 21 key issues for achieving a thriving labour
           market.     These include five urgent and important priorities which are (1) increasing
           participation in higher education, (2) responding to redundancies, (3) improving skills for
           employability, (4) ensuring workforce development and (5) supporting young people and
           career choices31.

A3.13 At a more local level, the priorities identified in the LSC Local Annual Plan (2003-4) are
           divided into four strategies and relate to the four broad areas of participation, skills, quality
           and equality.

           •         the Participation Strategy is about ensuring that more people become engaged in
                     learning by stimulating more demand, encouraging young people to stay on and
                     progress to higher levels of study and encouraging adults to re-engage in learning

           •         the Skills Strategy is about developing the skills of the workforce by promoting
                     activities that encourage employers to develop their staff by raising demand for
                     employment-related skills, raise the competence levels of the workforce and improve
                     the responsiveness of the supply side

           •         the Quality Strategy is about ensuring that the learning infrastructure and provision in
                     Suffolk is responsive and of a high quality

           •         the Equality And Diversity Strategy is about encouraging the LSC and its partners to
                     operate in a way which encourages diversity and recognises the value of a diverse
                     local community.

A3.14 The County Council’s Adult Learning Plan for 2002-03 further emphasises the need to widen
           participation, promote equality and diversity, improve the quality of learning (including the
           responsiveness of the curriculum) and work in partnership with partner organisations to
           ensure coherence.

31
     EEDA, “Framework for Regional Employment and Skills Action”, (2001)



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            Key initiatives


A3.15 Activities in the recent past in Suffolk include establishing LSC employer sector groups32,
            successfully gaining funding for two COVEs33, promoting Modern Apprenticeships in
            Waveney resulting in 10 employers taking on apprentices, the New Start programme34, Bite
            Size campaigns to get adults back into learning and the establishment of the New Technology
            Institute (NTI) in Ipswich College.

A3.16 Looking forward, the LSC outlines three key areas of future work35:

            •         two interlinked areas of work which the LSC will focus on to address the challenge
                      set out in Success for All, which are the Strategic Area Review and the local
                      improvement strategy

            •         continued collaboration with colleges to develop their relationship and move towards
                      a planning-led approach to funding, based on an assessment of need

            •         action to implement the LSC Workforce Development Strategy36 including
                      establishing further employer groups for the engineering/manufacturing, construction
                      and care sectors.

            Emerging priorities


A3.17 In summarising the Suffolk economy – largely from a labour market perspective – a recent
            report concluded by identifying two main requirements37:

            •         first, there is a need for many skilled workers, at all levels from management to craft
                      and clerical jobs, to broaden their skills beyond the core skills implicit in their job
                      titles

            •         second there is a reduced requirement for traditional craft skills as industrial and
                      construction processes continue to become more sophisticated; equally there is

32
     Groups were established for the voluntary, public and shipping sectors.
33
     The two COVEs in Suffolk were awarded to ITS Training Services to provide training to the transport and shipping sector
     and for a Food Academy for Suffolk based at Otley College’s Foodskills Centre in partnership with Suffolk and Lowestoft
     Colleges.
34
     The programme allows schools to restructure learning for young people who are at risk of exclusion in year 10 and 11.
     The programme creates opportunities for students to attend and FE college or link learning with work experience through
     Work-based Learning Provision.
35
     LSC Annual Plan 2003-2004 Championing the Power of Learning, (2003); Notes: Chapter 4 of the plan outlines in more
     detail the LSC’s response to the national and regional agenda. It sets out planned activities in relation to 16 areas
     encompassing improving quality, 14-19 agenda, 16-18 agenda, equality and diversity, learners with learning difficulties,
     basic skills, early years and childcare, Information Advice and Guidance, Level 2 attainment, Modern Apprenticeships,
     Higher Education, work with employers, adult and employer engagement and distributed and electronic learning.
36
     The LSC Workforce Development Strategy (The National Policy Framework to 2005) was published in November 2002
37
     Area needs analysis for Suffolk – report prepared by BMG for LSC Suffolk, September 2003



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                     decreasing demand for typing skills as the basis for clerical jobs. Instead, at these
                     intermediate levels, there is a requirement for skills either to drift upwards or
                     downwards.

A3.18 Consistent with these findings, key priorities for Suffolk are increasing qualifications and
            increasing the numbers going into higher education in line with the Government’s target for
            201038. A key concern surrounds the lack of a dedicated HEI. In its Annual Plan, the LSC
            questions whether the absence of a dedicated institution (a) affects the aspirations of young
            people and their progression into higher education and (b) draws the ‘brightest and best’ away
            from the county to pursue opportunities elsewhere39.                   The East of England as a whole
            experiences a 50% net outflow of graduates when they take up their first job40.

A3.19 At the other end of the spectrum, there is also concern about the level of poor basic literacy
            and numeracy in Suffolk which will pose a challenge to the LSC and the Information, Advice
            and Guidance (IAG) Partnership.              The LSC estimates that there are around 130,000
            individuals who would benefit from improvements to their basic skills41.

A3.20 Responding to the evolving needs of employers will continue to be a key theme. Further
            issues will emerge during the year as the Strategic Area Review considers the needs of
            employers, learners and communities in the county.




38
     Partnership for Progression was established by the Government to achieve 50% participation in HE and make HE more
     socially inclusive.
39
     Source: “Learning and Skills Council Suffolk, Annual Learning Plan” 2003-04
40
     East of England Development Agency “East of England 2010; prosperity and opportunity for all” (2001)
41
     Source: Learning and Skills Council Suffolk, “Annual Learning Plan” 2003-04



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A4 Land, property and infrastructure

            Current situation

            Employment land & property


A4.1        The availability of land for commercial development is essential to support sustainable
            economic growth. Broad principles for allocating employment land are set out in Regional
            Planning Guidance (RPG 6). Within this context, the Suffolk Structure Plan – which was
            adopted in 2001 – provides the strategic spatial framework for physical and economic
            development in the county. The plan proposes that most housing and employment related
            development will be within or adjacent to the main towns, with a particular focus on Ipswich,
            Bury St Edmunds, and Lowestoft, and, to a lesser extent, Stowmarket, Sudbury and Haverhill.
            The plan emphasises the need for sustainable development, well located with respect to the
            transport network and services, and with employment and housing developments well related
            to each other. It also emphasises the need to conserve, and where possible enhance, the
            quality of the natural and built environment. In relation to employment, the plan assumes at
            least a continuation of past rates of employment growth - 18,000 new jobs were created in the
            county between 1991 and 1998, and if this growth rate continues it would result in nearly
            44,000 jobs being created between 1996 and 2016.

A4.2        The Plan has policies supporting the development of business clusters, particularly ICT in the
            Ipswich policy area (which includes Adastral park) and high technology growth stimulated by
            links to the Cambridge area. However, relatively little attention is paid to cross border
            influences on economic and physical development, including the Haven Gateway, the inter-
            relationship between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, and (not withstanding the cluster policy)
            the influence of the Cambridge sub-region on western Suffolk.

A4.3        Although the Structure Plan does not provide statistical guidance on the scale of employment
            land provision, it sets out those factors which should be taken into account in planning for
            employment related developments in the Districts’ Local Plans. Local Authorities throughout
            Suffolk indicate that there is an ample supply of employment land suitable for both high-tech
            and general B Class uses.          However, there is currently a shortage of suitable premises
            available for immediate occupation, particularly in key locations such as Ipswich and Bury St
            Edmunds. A report produced by Chesterton42 suggests that close monitoring of the quality of
            supply is necessary to ensure that business needs are adequately serviced. Reports in the



42
     Chesterton plc for EEDA (August, 2002) “Study of Strategic and Sub-Regional Employment Sites Phase 2”



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            property press suggest that as a whole, the county has a surfeit of second-hand
            accommodation in comparison with higher quality modern options43.

A4.4        There is a pocket of business activity in/around Ipswich, but the supply of accommodation is
            geared principally towards office occupiers, with a number of good-quality business estates
            such as Adastral Park. There is also evidence that developers are interested in bringing
            forward speculative schemes within the Ipswich area such as St James’ Business Park which
            will be orientated towards high-tech occupiers.

            Residential land and property


A4.5        The strategic objectives for land allocations, in the context of broader economic development
            priorities are also set out in RPG 6 and the Suffolk Structure Plan 2001. The plan makes
            provision for a county-wide increase of 53,000 dwellings over the 20 year period 1996 to
            2016, a slightly higher rate of development than during the 1990s. Progress towards this
            requirement was good in 2002 with a total of 16,263 commitments44 having been made
            (excluding Babergh and Forest Heath Districts)45.               The provision of affordable housing
            however has not been as successful with build rates varying greatly; for example 485 units
            were built in 1998/99, 179 units in 1999/00 and 357 units in 2000/01. The County Council
            recognises that in order to meet the need for affordable housing, with the exception of
            Ipswich, all districts will need to at least double the number of affordable units secured
            through planning permissions46.

            Transport infrastructure


A4.6        Felixstowe is the UK’s biggest container port and the 4th largest in Europe connecting with
            360 other ports and 100 countries world wide47. In 1999 it handled 2 million containers, of
            which about 1.25 million left by road and 350,000 left by rail. Much of the freight leaving
            Felixstowe by road filters inland along the A14. There are also two further ports in Suffolk,
            at Lowestoft and Ipswich, although they are less focussed on container shipping and are
            significantly smaller.

A4.7        The primary road network in Suffolk contains two main routes: the A12 Lowestoft – Ipswich
            – London running from north to south; and, the A14 Felixstowe – Ipswich – Stowmarket –
            Bury St. Edmunds – Cambridge, running from east to west. The most significant route is the



43
     SQW Limited for Suffolk Development Agency (June, 2003) “Cambridge to Ipswich High Tech Corridor”
44
     The commitments figure makes no allowance for the likely future incidence of windfall development or current planning
     applications likely to be approved
45
     Suffolk’s Environment: Five year review (December, 2002)
46
     Suffolk’s Environment: Five year review (December, 2002)
47
     Suffolk Development Agency website



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            A14 dual carriageway which is the main trunk route between the M1/M6 junction in the West
            Midlands and Felixstowe in the east, and is part of the Trans European network.

A4.8        Rail transport in the county is dominated by the rail links between the main cities and towns
            of Cambridge, Ipswich, Norwich, Chelmsford, Ely and Bury St. Edmunds. In addition, there
            are local services serving smaller towns and tourist destinations such as Lowestoft.

A4.9        Monitoring data from the Suffolk Local Transport Plan outlined the present modal split for
            journeys within the county: 63% of all journeys were made by car or motorcycle, 4% by bus
            or train, 4% by bicycle and 26% on foot.

A4.10 Although there are no licensed airports within the county, Suffolk is well served by two major
            airports close by; Stansted (Essex) and Luton. Stansted is the fourth largest airport in the UK
            handling 12 million passengers per annum (mppa) in 200048. Whilst Luton is significantly
            smaller handling only six mppa in 200049 it has benefited greatly from the boom in budget air
            travel, which looks set to continue.

            ICT


A4.11 The availability of broadband is rapidly becoming a key determinant of economic
            opportunities. Throughout the larger towns in Suffolk, broadband is currently available with
            ASDL facilities also available to most mid-sized towns. However, very little broadband
            coverage has reached the numerous smaller settlements in Suffolk to date. A summary of
            current broadband availability is provided in Table A4.1 below.

            Table A4.1: Current broadband availability


             District                  Areas covered by NTL    Exchanges with ADSL which were live or scheduled
                                             50                                       51
                                       Cable                   to be upgraded in 2003

             Forest Heath              Newmarket               Mildenhall
                                                               Brandon
                                                               Eriswell

             St Edmundsbury                                    Bury St Edmunds
                                                               Haverhill

             Mid Suffolk                                       Stowmarket




48
     Department for Transport (July, 2002) “The Future Development of Air Transport in the UK: South East, Summary
     Consultation Document”
49
     Department for Transport (July, 2002) “The Future Development of Air Transport in the UK: South East, Summary
     Consultation Document”
50
     Information taken from NTL’s website
51
     Information taken from BT’s website



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         Babergh                                           Sudbury
                                                           Hadleigh

         Ipswich                Parts of Ipswich           Whitton (serves parts of Mid Suffolk)
                                                           Ipswich Kesgrave
                                                           Belstead

         Suffolk Coastal        Felixstowe                 Felixstowe
                                                           Woodbridge
                                                           Sutton

         Waveney                ?                          Beccles
                                                           Blundeston




       Key drivers

       Employment land and property


A4.12 The sustainable development objective for providing employment land in Suffolk as laid out
       in Suffolk’s Environment Review is “to achieve sustainable levels of prosperity and
       economic growth through the establishment, maintenance and expansion of employment use”.
       One of the most important areas of economic growth around Ipswich is currently the high-
       tech economy. Current difficulties aside, this is likely to require high-specification premises
       in a high-quality setting.

       Residential land and property


A4.13 The sustainable development objective for housing provision as described in Suffolk’s
       Environment Review is “to plan to meet the housing requirements of the whole community
       providing housing opportunities and choice, including a mix in the size, type and tenure of
       housing in sustainable locations”. Although housing requirements look set to be met as per
       the structure plan designations, these designations do not take account of net in-migration. In
       addition, although the Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan does not locate any of the
       four growth poles in Suffolk, it is likely that the planned 250,000 homes to be located along
       the neighbouring London – Stansted – Cambridge corridor will create a degree of “housing
       growth spillover”.

A4.14 As noted above, affordable housing targets are not being met for a number of reasons. If this
       pattern continues, the economy of Suffolk is likely to experience recruitment and retention
       problems in the public services sector combined with an upward pressure on wage levels.




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            Transport infrastructure


A4.15 The last 20 years has seen rapid growth in the quantities of road traffic in Suffolk52. Increases
            in commuting patterns, de-urbanisation of services, convenience and financial savings have
            served to fuel much of this growth, which in turn has increased congestion, air and noise
            pollution, and safety hazards.     All of these problems are amplified by the settlement
            geography of Suffolk being relatively dispersed and largely rural, and containing the largest
            container port in the UK.

A4.16 In recent years concerns have grown over the amount of freight traffic emanating from
            Felixstowe and travelling along the A14. The route is currently carrying a complex mixture
            of types of traffic including local, commuter and national and international freight. The
            Suffolk Local Transport Plan 2001 – 2006 outlines a number of strategic objectives consistent
            with those at the national and regional level aimed at shifting the current modal split (outlined
            above) towards a more sustainable pattern:

            •        Accessibility: Making it easier for everyone to reach the places they wish to get to by
                     bringing facilities close to people and reducing the need to travel as well as
                     encouraging trips by modes other than car

            •        Economy: Promoting competitiveness and supporting economic development,
                     enhancing the viability and vitality of communities and promoting value for money
                     by maximising efficiency in the use of resources

            •        Environment and health: Sustaining and enhancing the natural and built
                     environments and improving the quality of life for those affected by transport

            •        Safety: Ensuring a high standard of safety and personal security for all using the
                     transport network

            •        Integration: Bringing together transport and land use planning to reduce the need to
                     travel by encouraging mixed use development and encouraging more sustainable
                     travel by integrating modes.

            ICT


A4.17 An effective and comprehensive broadband network is increasingly a key element of
            infrastructure necessary to generate increases in economic productivity, particularly through
            high value-added knowledge-based business growth53. A comprehensive and effective county
            wide broadband network would:


52
     Suffolk Local Transport Plan 2001-2006
53
     EEDA Broadband Fund Action Plan (2002)



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           •         overcome obstacles related to rural isolation in rural and peripheral areas

           •         enable businesses to participate in “e-commerce”, “e-banking” and thereby strengthen
                     productivity and competitiveness

           •         reduce the need to travel in relation to work

           •         reduce the demand for new business premises due to flexible and remote working

           •         increase flexibility surrounding the location of businesses, supporting business start-
                     ups in priority regeneration areas

           •         create capacity to deliver training and learning opportunities via ICT

           •         promote social inclusion through community internet provision.

           Key initiatives

           Employment land and property


A4.18      Provision of high quality, suitable employment land and premises is key to maintaining
           inward investment and developing emerging specialisms in the Suffolk economy. There has
           been a considerable amount of promotional activity for sites deemed suitable for companies
           within the knowledge based economy, around Ipswich, such as Ransomes Europark
           extension, Ipswich Waterfront, and the IP8 Innovation Park. Overall however, property
           market specialists consider that there is a shortage of prime sites54.              The proposed IP8
           Innovation Park is considered the best option, with over 8.1 ha (20 acres) available. In
           addition, the proposed St James Business Park to the west of Ipswich has the potential to offer
           high quality accommodation, with good transport links.

A4.19 Building on the national energy policy and regional initiatives, a cluster based on the
           generation of off-shore wind energy could possibly develop in and around Lowestoft. In
           parallel, plans have recently been developed for a major regeneration project on the South
           Shore of Lake Lothing, in the centre of the town. The development is promoting, amongst
           other things, employment land focussed on the prospective offshore wind energy cluster
           linked to a centre of excellence elsewhere in the town55.

           Transport infrastructure


A4.20 The Suffolk Local Transport Plan outlines two targets aimed at encouraging freight off the
           road and onto railways:


54
     SQW Limited for the Suffolk Development Agency (2003) “Cambridge to Ipswich High Tech Corridor”
55
     Halcrow Group (March, 2003) “Lake Lothing Development Framework Study”



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            •        by 2006, to increase by at least 5% the proportion of freight carried by modes other
                     than by road transport

            •        nil overall growth in the freight tonnage transported by road in Suffolk56.

A4.21 Proposals for a major strategic rail development have been put forward by the East West Rail
            Consortium to establish a route connecting East Anglia with Central, Southern, and Western
            England. The proposal is split into three distinct sections spanning an area from Bristol to
            Felixstowe (“Eastern End”, “Missing Link” and “Western End”).                   The section of most
            relevance to Suffolk, the Eastern End, covers an area to the east of Cambridge as far as
            Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Ipswich and Felixstowe. Although this area enjoys full operating
            infrastructure with both passenger and freight services the quality of service from Ipswich and
            Felixstowe from Cambridge is very poor. Although these plans are currently stalled due to
            the suspension of funding, the introduction of a new rail franchise (Greater Anglia Franchise)
            in 2004 may prove to be a catalyst for new investment57.

A4.22 A number of other rail projects are also either planned or in progress to improve the
            Felixstowe – Nuneaton freight route allowing freight from the container port at Felixstowe to
            reach the West Coast Mainline.           These include provision of a route permitting larger
            containers, the provision of additional freight paths and increasing the permitted train length.

A4.23 The Suffolk Local Transport plan outlines two targets aimed at encouraging more sustainable
            patterns of transport across the county:

            •        by 2010 to increase the proportion of all journeys undertaken by sustainable modes
                     (walking, cycling, and public transport) from 30% to 45%

            •        by 2006 to increase the proportion of all journeys over 2km undertaken by bus and
                     train from 5% to 6%58.

A4.24 Improvements to the road infrastructure planned for the next ten years include:

            •        B1115 Stowmarket relief road

            •        South Lowestoft relief road and related measures (part of the Lowestoft Regeneration
                     Project

            •        A134 Sudbury bypass and related measures

            •        improved access to, within, and around Ipswich Port


56
     Suffolk Local Transport Plan 2001-2006
57
     SQW Limited for Suffolk Development Agency (June, 2003) “Cambridge to Ipswich High Tech Corridor”
58
     Suffolk Local Transport Plan 2001-2006



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            •        A1065 Brandon bypass59.

            ICT


A4.25 There are a number of EEDA initiatives which will contribute to the acceleration in the
            availability of affordable broadband services in Suffolk:

            •        the Broadband Brokerage initiative is identifying clusters of broadband demand
                     throughout the East of England, and providing that information to potential suppliers
                     of broadband services

            •        the Connecting Communities competition is awarding grants to three communities
                     (large, medium and small) for the provision of a broadband network. There were 87
                     entries into this competition across the East of England, several of which were from
                     within Suffolk.

A4.26 Looking to the future, evidence suggests that the availability of broadband services should be
            improved throughout Suffolk. According to BT’s website, there are currently 15 exchanges
            across the county with assigned trigger levels (meaning that BT has already identified the
            level of registrations of interest at which the exchanges will be enabled for ADSL services).
            BT is also due to offer a new wholesale service to ISPs called ADSL Exchange Activate.
            This is likely to be appropriate to the needs of smaller communities and, although prices are
            likely to be beyond the means of many households, it could be feasible for small businesses.
            In addition, wireless broadband services are likely to be rolled out further to small
            communities within Suffolk over the next year; the Colneis broadband project to the east and
            south east of Ipswich is one example.

            Emerging priorities


A4.27 Consideration must be given to issues regarding the provision of adequate land and suitable
            property, and improvements in existing infrastructure, in designing the economic strategy for
            Suffolk. From this initial review, it is possible to identify a number of emerging priorities
            which will inform this process:

            •        support must be given for the provision of suitable land, premises and infrastructure
                     in and around Ipswich which may contribute towards the ongoing development of
                     high-tech activity

            •        support must be given to the provision of suitable land, premises and infrastructure in
                     Lowestoft which may contribute towards the development of an off-shore wind
                     energy cluster


59
     Suffolk Local Transport Plan 2001-2006



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•   where possible, the strategy should support a shift in freight movements emanating
    from Felixstowe from road to rail, relieving over-burdened primary roads. But at the
    same time, it is important to recognise that improvements to the road infrastructure
    will be important

•   the strategy should create opportunities for and support a modal shift in how people
    travel around the county towards a more sustainable balance

•   support the currently stalled proposals for the East – West rail link, specifically the
    “Eastern End” improving services between Ipswich and Cambridge

•   finally, across the county, ICT provision is currently patchy – particularly in the rural
    areas where its functional value is potentially greatest. Evidence from both the public
    and private sector suggests that this situation is likely to improve. The economic
    strategy must support this.




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A5 International perspectives

              Current position


A5.1          The movement of goods, services, capital and people in and out of the UK economy is a key
              driver to both economic and social change in the UK. The value of imports and exports to the
              economy amounts to approximately one third of total GDP. The East of England accounted
              for 12% of the value of UK exports and derived a greater proportion of its income from
              exports than any other English region (25% compared to the national average of 19.8% and
              worth a total of £15.6 billion in 199960). Within the region, Suffolk has the second lowest
              percentage of VAT registered firms identified as exporters (5%) with 200 firms being
              identified as active exporters61.

A5.2          For Suffolk, the importance of international trade is perhaps better understood in terms of
              Felixstowe which is of strategic importance to the local, county and national economies.
              Felixstowe is the UK’s biggest container port and much of the freight leaving Felixstowe by
              road filters inland along the A14. The benefits include direct employment related to the
              operation of the port, networks of businesses established to service the port and the related
              businesses that are built on the benefits of locating near the port (e.g. distribution). The role
              of the transport and logistics related industry in Suffolk may be further enhanced if the
              proposed development and expansion plans for Stansted, the port developments in Lowestoft
              and Ipswich, and the expansion at Bathside Bay container port in Essex are implemented.

              Key drivers


A5.3          In placing Suffolk in an international context it is important to acknowledge the powerful
              international drivers that impact on its economy:

          •           the continued long term growth in the volume and value of international trade (both
                      goods and services and including tourism) reflecting the trend for outward looking
                      trade policies, removal of barriers to trade and de-regulation of financial markets
                      (impact of European single market/GATT/WTO). Real growth in world trade in the
                      1990s averaged around 6% per annum

              •       the falling costs of transport and international communication resulting in
                      opportunities for export and inward investment, and threats in terms of increased
                      competition from high skilled/relatively low cost economies


60
     EEDA International Trade Strategy
61
     Business Links estimate in the context of EEDAs International Trade Strategy (2000).



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            •          the movement of capital and technology, both within Europe and between Europe and
                       the rest of the world providing a key driver to technology transfer and innovation. UK
                       is both a significant exporter of capital and a significant recipient of inward
                       investment

            •          the emergence of Europe as the UK’s main trading partner reflecting UK membership
                       of the EU and the success of the EU’s policy for the single market and removal of
                       internal EU barriers to trade. The EU accounts for approximately 58% of the export
                       of goods by value and 53% by volume. However, the exports to the EU from the East
                       of England as a whole are 12% below the UK average which suggests scope for
                       improving performance

            •          tourism in the UK generally has suffered in the last three years following the negative
                       press of mad cow disease and the foot and mouth disease outbreak, the events of
                       September 11th and the strong economic position of the pound. Visit Britain
                       anticipated that in 2003 inbound spending would fall by around 15% compared with
                       200262. This would have some impact on Suffolk.

A5.4        The emergence of Europe as the key export market for the UK, combined with the political
            and policy implications arising from membership of the Union, requires explicit attention to
            be given to monitoring the development of policy and its likely impact on Suffolk both for the
            county as a whole and for its sub regions. Key EU policies which will impact on Suffolk
            include:

            •          the euro and possible UK membership with knock-on implications in terms of
                       competitiveness, inward investment and transaction costs associated with trade and
                       travel

            •          reform of the Common Agricultural Policy with a reduction in direct subsidies, and
                       increased emphasis on indirect support of the rural economy and its diversification
                       away from intensive production

            •          enlargement of the EU: the expansion of the single market to include the Accession
                       States. This will provide access to significant new export markets, potential partners
                       for trade, investment and a potential source of competition

            •          EU policy and law and its potential impact on businesses and residents within the
                       county (e.g. environment, regional development, consumer protection, trade)

            •          EU development funds in key priority areas for the county (Structural
                       Funds/Objective 2, INTEREG, Research and Development, TEMPUS for HE,
                       commercial opportunities under EU aid programmes).

62
     Information from the Visit England website: http://www.visitbritain.org



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            Key initiatives


A5.5        Across Suffolk – and at a regional scale – there is a range of on-going initiatives seeking to
            enhance the county’s international position and performance.                          Some examples are
            summarised below.

            •         Suffolk Development Agency, Suffolk County Council and district councils have
                      been very active in developing their tourism strategies, investigating and researching
                      the potential for developing the Suffolk brand and the brand of specific locations
                      within Suffolk

            •         Suffolk County Council’s Economic Business Plan for 2003 outlines activities
                      including Consolidating Accord and developing alliances with new EU member states
                      through the Praxis network, further work to develop the tourism potential (e.g. launch
                      the ‘Think Suffolk’ campaign)

            •         several international partnerships have been established to encourage cooperation
                      with EU locations to facilitate international tourism and trade. For example Suffolk
                      has been a member of the ANORCOAST63, MAYA64 and SEAPLAG65 partnerships.
                      Currently, the PRAXIS Network is being set up, building on the REGENSEA
                      Partnership (Suffolk was one of the original partners). PRAXIS is based around a
                      network of regions in EU member states and in Central and Eastern Europe with a
                      strong record of transnational co-operation. The network aims to provide a
                      framework to consolidate existing links and to open doors to new co-operation
                      activities

            •         European R&D Funding Advisory Service: East of England advisory service supports
                      businesses and researchers in gaining access to European R&D funding (St John’s
                      Innovation Centre, Cambridge)

            •         at a regional scale, the East of England International Business Strategy has an overall
                      mission to “enhance the capacity of the East of England to encourage global markets
                      in order to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the region’s businesses
                      and contribute to the growth of regional GDP and create employment opportunities”.
                      It argues that these can be achieved by increasing exports and trading activity,

63
     ANORCOAST is an interregional co-operation program for practical solutions to coastal zone management in the North
     Sea region. The programme runs from 1998/9 to 2000/01 and involves regional authorities from seven countries, including
     Suffolk County Council.
64
     MAYA deals with marina and yachting in the lower North Sea, the Channel area and the Irish Sea within the North
     Western Metropolitan Area (NWMA). Five countries (a total of fourteen regions) participate in this project: The
     Netherlands (including the province of South Holland and Zeeland), Belgium (including the province of West Flanders),
     France, the United Kingdom (including the counties of Essex and Suffolk) and Ireland. The project started in September
     1999 and will last 20 months.
65
     SEAPLAG was established in 1998 to address the strategic vacuum that then existed in regional ports policy. It provided
     a forum for reviewing ports issues, seeking to promote ports and develop a pan-regional vision.



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                     encouraging foreign investment, and enhancing international business skills, and it
                     sets out a number of actions in response66.

            Emerging priorities


A5.6        In the context of the aims to increase the international component of the Suffolk economy, the
            analysis presented above raises some important considerations for the Strategy.                 These
            include the following:

            •        a major opportunity surrounds the county’s location in relation to the north west
                     European heartland and beyond as a focus for exports, inward investment and
                     tourism. In this context, the future development potential of transport gateways and
                     related businesses needs to be recognised as a key driver to the future development of
                     the county. The strategy will need to reflect this and respond to it

            •        increasing inward investment and exports must remain a priority, and this is an area
                     in which Suffolk should be well positioned: the international transport node at
                     Felixstowe provides an especially important asset in these terms

            •        there may be opportunities to identify sectors and skills of mutual importance
                     (transport/distribution/ports/gateways) and to build on existing trade links (Felixstowe
                     and Dutch/Belgian ports) to identify common private and public sector development
                     projects with Flanders and South Holland to ensure that potential direct and indirect
                     economic benefits are captured by the county

            •        there is a need to ensure that tourists entering the UK at (for example) Stansted are
                     made aware of Suffolk’s tourism offer

            •        there is a need to identify key gaps in the existing service provision in relation to the
                     needs of exporters and the requirements of those wishing to develop links in Suffolk
                     (commercial and others) (e.g. “e commerce”, marketing skills, networking, export
                     finance, trading standards)

            •        there is a need to ensure co-ordination in policy and support activities – nationally,
                     regionally and within the county of Suffolk – to ensure maximum impact is gained
                     from the existing service providers (e.g. TP-UK).




66
     “International Business Strategy for the East of England”: UK Trade and Investment and EEDA (2003)



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A6 Environment

            Current situation


A6.1        The value of the Suffolk natural environment as an economic, ecological, recreational,
            historical and aesthetic resource is widely acknowledged67. The county is largely rural with
            agricultural uses constituting 79% and forestry constituting 7% of the total area68. A large
            part of the land area of the county is subject to some sort of protective landscape designation
            including 46,000 hectares of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and 2,932
            hectares falling within the Broads area, both of which are national designations. In addition
            there are 79,000 hectares of Special Landscape Area69, which are defined as having one or
            more of the following characteristics:

            •         river valleys that still possess traditional grazing meadows with their associated
                      hedgerows, dykes and flora and fauna

            •         the Brecks including its remaining heathland, former heath recently ploughed, other
                      arable areas, river valleys and the characteristic lines and belts of Scots pine

            •         historic parks and gardens

            •         other areas of countryside where topography and natural vegetation, particularly
                      broad-leaved woodland, combine to produce an area of special landscape quality and
                      character70.

A6.2        Air quality in Suffolk is typical of a rural county, with roadside pollution levels in the larger
            urban areas such as Ipswich and Lowestoft being the poorest, representative of towns of a
            similar size throughout the Country. The two main sources of pollution are road traffic and
            industry.

A6.3        The quality of Suffolk’s built environment complements the high standards of the county’s
            natural environment outlined above; it has retained its own unique identity through a strong
            and attractive vernacular in the buildings of the market towns, villages and hamlets. In 2001
            the county contained 163 conservation areas, an increase of six since 1996, and 15,757 listed
            buildings, an increase of 281 over the same period71. Much of this historic fabric is protected

67
     Suffolk Structure Plan (2001)
68
     Suffolk County Council website
69
     As defined in the Suffolk Structure Plan (2001)
70
     Suffolk’s Environment: Five Year Review (December, 2002)
71
     Suffolk’s Environment: Five Year Review (December, 2002)



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            by national Planning Policy Guidance Note 15 (PPG 15) reinforced by Regional Planning
            Guidance (RPG 6) and development control policies such as those noted above laid out in the
            County Structure Plan and District Local Plans:

                       “The physical survivals of our past are to be valued and protected for
                       their own sake, as a central part of our cultural heritage and national
                       identity. They are irreplaceable records”72

A6.4        Both the high quality of natural and built environment contribute significantly towards the
            prevailing image of Suffolk as a pleasant rural county which underpins a significant element
            of the local economy. It is for example a contributing factor in explaining the importance of
            high quality tourism in areas such as Aldeburgh and Southwold.                       A high standard of
            maintenance of the county’s waterways and coastline is also important in terms of sustaining
            the local sailing economy on the Broads, coastal waters and inland waterways. Finally the
            natural environment of Suffolk provides an important setting for other cultural events, which
            depend to some extent on quality locations; such events include the classical music festivals at
            Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings, and horse racing in Newmarket.

            Key drivers


A6.5        Elements of the natural environment are under threat. Climate change will for example have
            an impact, particularly on the Suffolk coastline.               Region-wide, recent climate change
            scenarios suggest that in the East of England, areas now at risk from flooding are likely to
            become more vulnerable as – by 2080 – the sea level will rise to 22-82cm above the current
            level73.

A6.6        Increases in traffic levels flowing in and through the county have been the most significant
            cause of air quality deterioration. Air pollution levels in Suffolk are highest next to routes
            which carry relatively high volumes of fast flowing traffic and include a significant
            proportion of heavy goods vehicles.

A6.7        The quantity of household waste being produced in Suffolk has increased by 75,000 tonnes
            over the period 1995 – 200074. The majority of this waste is disposed of at landfill sites.
            With a growing demand for land, these sites are becoming increasingly difficult to find in
            Suffolk and therefore the cost of disposal is increasing.75

A6.8        One of the biggest challenges facing the environment of Suffolk in the future will be the
            projected increases in population. With the exception of Waveney District, population growth
72
     PPG 15: Planning and the Historic Environment
73
     EELGC (September, 2002) “East of England: Your region, your choice, your future – Consultation on options leading to
     RPG14 for the East of England”
74
     3rd Monitoring Report (May, 2001) “Suffolk’s Environment…towards sustainable development”
75
     “The State of Suffolk” (2002)



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            rates for all of the districts/boroughs within Suffolk over the period 2000 - 2010 are
            significantly higher than at the national level76. Reflecting this, the Structure Plan proposes
            an increase in dwelling stock throughout the county of 2,650 dwellings over the period 1996 –
            2016. Historic trends in residential building densities across Suffolk have been relatively
            low; averaging between 25 and less than 20 dwellings per hectare over the period 1997 -
            200077. If such a pattern were to continue it would threaten the quality of the natural
            environment through urban sprawl and threaten the vitality and economic viability of market
            towns and villages throughout the county.

A6.9        In addition, although the government’s Sustainable Communities Plan does not allocate land
            within Suffolk for development, the proximity of the neighbouring London – Stansted –
            Cambridge corridor growth pole - which will be the location for up to 250,000 new homes –
            may have significant implications for housing demand and economic development within the
            county.

            Key initiatives


A6.10 In March 1997 the eight Suffolk local planning authorities jointly produced the plan
            “Suffolk’s Environment… towards sustainable development”. Its aims were to characterise
            the environment of Suffolk, identify indicators to provide measures of the environmental
            effect of development plan policies and proposals, and to provide a baseline for future
            monitoring by reviewing over 100 separate indicators on an annual basis.                  The review
            provides an important check relating to all aspects of built development and the environment
            throughout Suffolk.

A6.11 In response to concerns over increases in air pollution and household waste generation, the
            Government released a number of positive strategies (Air Quality Regulations and a national
            Waste Strategy) in an attempt reduce environmentally unsustainable practices. More locally,
            in response to air pollution, Suffolk Air Quality Management Steering Groups have been set
            up and Air Quality Management Areas have been declared by Babergh District Council
            adjacent to the A12 south of Ipswich and St Edmundsbury Borough Council adjacent to the
            A14. In response to the growing levels of household waste, a regional marketing campaign
            was launched called “Slim your Bin” which aimed at increasing the amount of waste
            recycled, increasing home composting and encouraging people to buy products with less
            packaging78.

A6.12 There are a number of other initiatives in operation at the local and regional level which are
            likely to benefit the natural and built environment of Suffolk:

76
     Office for National Statistics (2000)
77
     ODPM (2003) “Sustainable Communities: Building for the future”
78
     “The State of Suffolk” (2002)



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           •        local biodiversity action plans, which consist of targets and policies on the
                    preservation and conservation of natural habitats and the wildlife in Suffolk

           •        regional food and drink strategy, which in partnership with local agricultural and food
                    processing partners will develop a long-term vision for the development of this key
                    regional sector79

           •        regional sustainable tourism strategy, which will focus on rural tourism such as that
                    strongly represented throughout Suffolk. Initiatives to support skills development
                    and market the region for rural tourism will be taken forward, as will supporting
                    community-led environmental regeneration and biodiversity gain80

           •        regional market town strategy, which will, amongst other aims, increase ICT
                    connectivity in rural areas, implement European best practice to serve the needs of the
                    local community and local businesses. The five towns in Suffolk selected for the
                    scheme are Beccles, Brandon, Debenham, Wickham Market and Woodbridge &
                    Melton81.

           Emerging priorities


A6.13 Environmental issues must be acknowledged and acted on in revising the economic strategy
           for Suffolk. The environment either explicitly or implicitly underpins a significant element of
           the economy throughout the county and contributes to its competitive advantage. A number
           of priorities have emerged from this initial literature review:

           •        across the strategy, priority should be given to economic activities with a positive
                    environmental impact in terms of air quality, waste production and biodiversity

           •        sustainable rural tourism based on the high quality environment of Suffolk should be
                    encouraged in coastal, rural and urban areas alike; where possible this should aim to
                    support rural enterprises such as the food and drink sector and classical music
                    festivals and preserve and enhance the unique built environment

           •        where commercial or residential development is proposed, the strategy should
                    promote brown field development with a sustainable mix of uses at high densities
                    reducing the need to travel by car and reducing unnecessary encroachment into green
                    field sites




79
     EEDA “Rural Renaissance in Focus”
80
     EEDA “Rural Renaissance in Focus”
81
     EEDA website



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•   the strategy must recognise the potential implications of proximity to the London –
    Stansted – Cambridge Corridor growth pole and where possible mitigate against any
    potentially adverse environmental impacts.




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A7 Deprivation and social inclusion

            Current situation


A7.1        In Suffolk – as elsewhere – poverty and affluence are closely juxtaposed, sometimes within
            the same town or village. The Indices of Deprivation (2000) identify 190 wards in Suffolk.
            Of these, six wards (four from Waveney district and two from Ipswich), rank within the 1,000
            most deprived in the context of 8,414 wards nationwide (i.e. within the most deprived 10%).
            Conversely, 8 wards have a deprivation rank of higher than 7,500 (i.e. within the least
            deprived 10%); these are distributed across three different districts (five are from Suffolk
            Coastal, two from Mid Suffolk and one in St Edmundsbury). Within individual Districts,
            there is a great range of situations: for example, ward-level IMD ranks in St Edmundsbury
            range from 1,132 to 7,805, while in Babergh the range is from 1,753 to 7,477. This all
            suggests that deprivation and social inclusion needs to be understood in terms of specific
            social groups as well as particular geographies. We consider these two dimensions in turn.

            Groups facing deprivation


A7.2        Many different groups of people face partial or total socio-economic exclusion. Often these
            situations are only partially visible through data. Socio-economic exclusion may be caused
            by many different combinations of circumstances. In particular, it is important to recognise
            that deprivation and exclusion will affect different groups and populations in different ways.

A7.3        A number of key indicators which identify potentially excluded groups are provided below:

            •          those aged over 60 in Suffolk represent 24% of the population; this group faces
                       particular challenges in relation to income and access to services and facilities

            •          there are 18,205 people receiving disability living allowance in Suffolk and there may
                       be more who choose not to be registered82

            •          in April 1997 the percentage of the Suffolk workforce in full time employment being
                       paid low wages was 45% compared with 32% across Great Britain83; in 1999, over
                       32,225 people in Suffolk were receiving Income Support84




82
     Source: ONS
83
     Source: Low Pay Unit analysis of unpublished data from New Earnings Survey 1999. Notes: In April 1997 the low pay
     threshold equivalent to the Council of Europe’s decency threshold was £6.60 per hour or £249.97 per week.
84
     Source: Office of National Statistics; Data is for April 1999



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            •         over 196,000 rural households, 82% of all rural households in Suffolk, live more than
                      4km away from a doctor’s surgery85; for elderly people and/or people without access
                      to a car, the consequences are potentially serious

            •         the number of rural parishes in Suffolk not having a daily bus service increased from
                      76% in 1994 to 80% in 1997.

            Geographies of deprivation


A7.4        Analysis of the economic performance and deprivation in East of England districts found that
            there is significant variety within Suffolk86. Table A7.1 illustrates the gap between the
            districts in Suffolk and their relative position in comparison with districts from elsewhere in
            the East of England. For example, Waveney is the only district in Suffolk which is classed as
            having weak economic performance and high deprivation. By contrast, Suffolk Coastal ranks
            1st across the region in comparison with districts displaying strong economic performance and
            low deprivation.


             Table A7.1: Matrix of the districts in Suffolk by measures of economic performance
             and deprivation


             Districts of weak economic performance and high           Districts of strong economic performance but high
             deprivation                                               deprivation
             Waveney – ranked 3 of 10 districts across the region      Ipswich – ranked 2 of 11 districts across the region
                                                                       St Edmundsbury – ranked 11 of 11 districts across the
                                                                       region

             Districts of weak economic performance but low            Districts of strong economic performance and low
             deprivation                                               deprivation
             Babergh – ranked 2 of 9 districts across the region       Suffolk Coastal – ranked 1 of 18 districts across the
             Mid Suffolk – ranked 7 of 9 districts across the region   region
                                                                       Forest Heath – ranked 7 of 18 districts across the
                                                                       region
             Source: EEDA, 2002



A7.5        More detail is available from scrutinising the Indices of Deprivation. Table A7.2 provides
            district level information for the seven districts in Suffolk and highlights some more systemic
            contrasts across different parts of the county. Although – as argued at the start – all of the
            districts within Suffolk contain some deprived wards, our reading of these data is that




85
     Countryside Agency, Rural services Report, 2002
86
     EEDA, Prioritisation of the East of England, 2002, DTZPieda; The report identifies four types of district with the East pf
     England region by integrating the districts level scores for economic performance and deprivation. These are Areas of
     week economic performance and high deprivation – there are 10 districts from the region in this group; Areas of strong
     economic performance and high deprivation – there are 11 districts in this group; Areas of weak economic performance
     and low deprivation – there are 9 districts in this group; Areas of strong economic performance and low deprivation –
     there are 18 districts form the region in this group.



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            deprivation that appears to be both deep-rooted and widespread is essentially found in
            Waveney and to a lesser extent in Ipswich87.


            Table A7.2: District level summaries from the Indices of Deprivation 200088

                                              89
                                        Rank of…
                                        employment      income      average ward       average                  94   local
                                             90              91            92                     93   extent                      95
                                        scale           scale       scores             ward ranks                    concentration
               Babergh                  289             276         242                240             158           226
               Forest Heath             342             334         257                242             158           316
               Ipswich                  123             108         110                115             158           134
               Mid Suffolk              305             299         288                280             158           326
               St. Edmundsbury          254             256         241                243             158           209
               Suffolk Coastal          225             226         286                283             158           279
               Waveney                  117             115         86                 80              66            82



A7.6        However District-level IMD data provides a poor measure of rural deprivation. Instead, the
            ward-based IMD measure for geographical access to services (Table A7.3) shows greater
            deprivation in some more rural areas of Suffolk.

            Table A7.3: District level summaries of the Indices of Deprivation 2000 Access
            Domain96

                                              Proportion of the district’s wards within the most deprived 10% nationally
             Babergh                          23% (7 wards)
             Forest Heath                     20% (3 wards)
             Ipswich                          none
             Mid Suffolk                      38% (13 wards)
             St. Edmundsbury                  30% (10 wards)
             Suffolk Coastal                  29% (12 wards)
             Waveney                          10% (2 wards)




87
     The areas are considered in more detail in the Area Based Papers
88
     Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Indices of Deprivation 2000
89
     A rank of 1 indicates that the district is the most deprived according to the relevant measure; there are 354 English
     Districts
90
     Number of people who are employment deprived
91
     Number of people who are income deprived
92
     Population weighted average of the combined scores for the wards in a district
93
     Population weighted average of the combined ranks for the wards in a district
94
     Proportion of a district’s population living in the wards which rank within the most deprived 10% of wards in the country;
     where districts have no wards which fall within the 10% most deprived wards in England, they are given a rank of 158
95
     Population weighted average of the ranks of a district’s most deprived wards that contain exactly 10% of the district’s
     population
96
     Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Indices of Deprivation 2000; Notes: Access domain refers to
     Geographical Access to Services



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            Key drivers


A7.7        At a national level in recent years, several policy documents have sought to address the issues
            of social inclusion and deprivation. Not least:

            •        the Local Government Act 2000 includes the ‘power of wellbeing’ for local
                     authorities

            •        the urban and rural white papers (Autumn 2000)

            •        the work of the Social Exclusion Unit and strategy ‘A New Commitment to
                     Neighbourhood Renewal’ which sets out the government’s long term goal of
                     narrowing the gap between the most deprived communities and the rest of the
                     country.

A7.8        Regionally, EEDA recognises that in order to achieve the economic growth it needs to
            address the issues affecting those who are currently disenfranchised and focus on
            disadvantage and underperforming communities in the region. EEDA states that ‘although
            the East of England is a diverse region and although it is in the top three regions in England
            measured by GDP, there are pockets of severe deprivation in both rural and urban areas’97.
            Tier 2 targets for the East of England include the following:

            •        regeneration – promoting economic development in the most deprived areas (those in
                     the bottom 20% of the IMD): reduce the number of adults in receipt of income
                     support by 3.6% and reduce JSA and claimant count by 10%

            •        rural – regenerate market towns, increase employment and skills and new business
                     formation in Priority Rural Areas: targets will be set for seven districts in relation to
                     employment rates and earnings. These districts include Waveney and Forest Heath.

            Key initiatives


A7.9        A recent report produced for EEDA identified current patterns of funding in the East of
            England98. For Suffolk, these included:

            •        EEDA regeneration funding for Forest Heath and Suffolk Coastal

            •        EU funding for Waveney, Mid Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal

            •        Lottery funding for Ipswich

            •        Community Fund funding for Ipswich and Suffolk Coastal.

97
     EEDA, Equality in Focus, 2002
98
     EEDA, Prioritisation of the East of England, October 2002, DTZ Pieda



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A7.10 Local initiatives include those to address:

        •       inequalities (for example the SRB programme Lowestoft into Work)

        •       the needs of particular groups (such as the SRB programme Prosper)

        •       research studies such as the Rural Racism Study jointly funded by Suffolk County
                Council and EEDA.

        Emerging priorities


A7.11 The analysis focused on highlighting the deprivation gap which exists between and within the
        districts in Suffolk whilst recognising the particular issues faced by Lowestoft and Ipswich.
        From this analysis, we would want to make some summary observations and raise a number
        of issues that ought to be taken forward in developing the Strategy as a whole:

        •       within Suffolk, there are clearly pockets of relative and absolute deprivation – for
                example in Lowestoft, Ipswich, Haverhill and Sudbury. For the economic strategy, a
                priority must be to ensure that the links are established and the connections –
                physical, virtual and emotional – are put in place to ensure that growth is generated in
                a sustainable manner and that the benefits of it are absorbed in the places in which it
                is required

        •       opportunities for addressing the current position in Lowestoft have been identified as
                the development of the offshore cluster, Lowestoft’s potential as an environmental
                economy centre and the redevelopment around Lake Lothing. Careful consideration
                will be needed to ensure that the infrastructure is put in place to empower the local
                community to contribute to and benefit from these developments in relation to
                improved quality of life and employment opportunities

        •       the nature and causes of deprivation vary across Suffolk. At a county level, it should
                be possible to provide a strategic framework to respond to the principal economic
                drivers. However integrated solutions must be defined and delivered locally: they
                must be informed by the broader agenda, but they must also respond to local needs.




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A8 Image and identity

            Current situation


A8.1        Generating a strong image and identity for Suffolk is key to successfully attracting business
            investment, tourism and future residents. Although both image and identity are largely
            intangible, the East of England Regional Economic Strategy (RES) links both concepts to
            cultural activity and tourism. A recent study commissioned by Suffolk County Council99
            highlighted a number of established thematic and geographic images and identities based
            around tourism and culture which are commonly associated with Suffolk.

            Thematic images


            •        classical music – Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings are world famous venues for
                     classical music concerts and connections with Benjamin Britten adds weight to this

            •        sailing – the Suffolk coast and the neighbouring Norfolk Broads are popular
                     destinations for yachting and water sports

            •        country pubs and hotels – throughout Suffolk there are a large number of pubs and
                     hotels capitalising on a high quality rural offer, often linked to food and drink

            •        pastel vernacular – the pastel colours traditionally used to render buildings throughout
                     Suffolk give the smaller towns and villages a distinctive vernacular.

            Geographic images


            •        Constable country – the water meadow countryside of the Stour Valley, in
                     conjunction with the famous and popular images created by Constable, is a classic
                     English icon often associated with Suffolk

            •        Lavenham and the Wool Towns – the historic wool industry generated prosperity
                     throughout the county and funded a trend for building Churches in the 14th and 15th
                     century giving Suffolk as a whole, and the wool towns in particular a strong heritage
                     of church architecture

            •        Sutton Hoo – the most famous Saxon archaeological site in Britain

            •        the Broads – although associated with Norfolk, the most popular Broad – Oulton –
                     adjoins Lowestoft and is an obvious gateway, not least for pleasure craft from
                     countries such as Holland
99
     Locum Destination Consulting for Suffolk County Council (December, 2002), “Tourism Marketing in Suffolk”



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            •        Newmarket – synonymous with horse racing and the centre of a local equine cluster
                     incorporating racing, breeding and stables

            •        the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB – the highly attractive and vibrant coastal
                     communities of Southwold, Aldeburgh and Orford are located in a distinctive and
                     evocative natural environment.

A8.2        All of these established images are predominantly rural emphasising a high quality natural
            and built environment and indicate a high quality of life. Reflecting this, the following
            marketing logo was devised by the County Council tourism department to promote Suffolk:

                 “There’s a gentler pace of life in Suffolk: A special atmosphere that gives
                 visitors the space to relax, be refreshed and want to return for more”

            Key drivers


A8.3        Although the image of Suffolk has been described as being “indistinct; neither particularly
            negative nor indeed positive100”, many of the images noted above are important in their own
            right and have genuine potential for fostering certain forms of economic development. There
            are also a number of emerging images of Suffolk which represent a pronounced contrast to
            these established and largely rural concepts which themselves might underpin future
            economic growth. These include

            •        Ipswich as a high-tech milieu: Emerging from the IP city networking venture, and
                     the concept of the Cambridge to Ipswich High Tech Corridor, a potential high-tech
                     cluster is emerging which centres on Adastral Park on the outskirts of Ipswich. The
                     combination of global marketing and real business activity has the potential to build
                     an image of Ipswich as a high-tech location linked intrinsically to Cambridge. Such
                     an image is aided by the presence of the first post-war building in the UK to be Grade
                     1 listed – the famous Willis office by Sir Norman Foster which has a distinctive high-
                     tech vernacular

            •        renewable energy – according to one report, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft have the
                     potential to make a real contribution as part of the Greater Wash strategic area for
                     wind energy production101. Lowestoft could become the centre of a cluster based
                     around wind-energy which could in turn have significant potential for building an
                     image – on the back of the existing high quality natural environment – of a leading
                     area for renewable energy production.




100
      Locum Destination Consulting for Suffolk County Council (December, 2002), “Tourism Marketing in Suffolk”
101
      DTI (2002) “Future Offshore – A Strategic Framework for the Offshore Wind Industry”



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            Key initiatives


A8.4        The tourism strategy for the county is currently nested within the East of England Tourism
            Strategy. The information and actions from this strategy are subsequently carried through to
            the relevant section of the Suffolk Development Agency (SDA) business plan (the key image
            and identity actions from this are summarised below in Table A8.1). To complement this, a
            Cultural Strategy for Suffolk has recently been published and a marketing strategy group is in
            the process of being set up.

            Table A8.1: SDA actions linked to the image and identity of Suffolk102

                Activities / Actions                               SDA commitment £000’s
                                                        2003/04          2004/05           2005/06
                Marketing plan                            30               60                70
                Website development                       10                5                 5
                Destination marketing                     34               45                45
                Training & business advice                 5                5                 5
                Research & communications                  6                6                13



            Emerging priorities


A8.5        The vision set out in the emerging economic strategy will have to identify and prioritise the
            preferred image that Suffolk is going to promote, not least in response to descriptions of
            Suffolk as “indistinct”. On the basis of this initial literature review there are a number of
            broad areas we might suggest as a background to promoting the image and identity of
            Suffolk, most of which share common environmentally based elements:

            •          high quality environment – based on the high quality rural and coastal, natural and
                       built environment, incorporating tourism and food and drink

            •          premier cultural location – based on classical music at Aldeburgh and Snape Maltings
                       and horse racing at Newmarket

            •          Ipswich as a high tech milieu – based on the Cambridge to Ipswich High Tech
                       Corridor and IP City centring on Adastral Park

            •          a centre for renewable energy – based around off-shore wind farms and construction
                       and maintenance in Lowestoft.




102
      Suffolk Development Agency Business Plan 2003/04 – 2005/06



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     SECTION B

SPATIAL ISSUES PAPERS
                                                    Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                 Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis




B1 Lowestoft

       Current situation


B1.1   The Lowestoft sub-region encompasses the urban area of Lowestoft and the immediate rural
       hinterland. The sub-region is situated in the most northerly corner of Waveney District
       bordering Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. There is limited data availability for the Lowestoft
       sub-region; therefore much of the commentary below refers to Waveney District.

B1.2   The population of Waveney is forecast to grow by 0.6% over the period 2000-2010, a rate
       significantly lower than that expected across the rest of the county (average 5.1%). Further
       analysis of this pattern indicates that where there is growth in the future, it is likely to be in
       older age groups; from 50 upwards.

B1.3   The Lowestoft economy has experienced structural changes in recent years which have led to
       a situation of economic decline.         Waveney District has the second highest level of
       unemployment of all the Suffolk Districts (3%), and employment growth projections for
       Waveney are relatively weak. For those in employment, the average weekly earnings in
       Waveney (£279 per week) are lower than any other district in the county.

B1.4   The cumulative effect of the patterns noted above are evidenced today in Lowestoft by acute
       pockets of deprivation, as can be seen below in Table B1.1.

       Table B1.1: Multiple Deprivation in Lowestoft

        Lowestoft Ward                 IMD Rank (& national percentile)
        Harbour                             336 (5% most deprived)
        Kirkley                                   473 (10%)
                                                  639 (10%)
        St Margarets                              802 (10%)
        Whitton                                  1067 (15%)
        Gunton                                   2080 (25%)
        Pakefield                                   2295
        Oulton Broad                                3673
        Carlton                                     3729

       Source: DETR, 2000




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            Employment Land


B1.5        Waveney as a whole currently has a surplus of employment land. In 2000 there was a total of
            54.47 hectares of vacant industrial land or buildings in Lowestoft103 alone, largely on three
            main sites: Lake Lothing, Beach Industrial Estate and the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate:

            •        EEDA recently commissioned a study looking at the redevelopment of Lake Lothing,
                     envisaging that it could be key to the wider regeneration of Lowestoft. The
                     recommended redevelopment strategy included substantial areas of land for
                     employment related development with the specific opportunity cited for a renewable
                     energy cluster and electronics supplier group104

            •        redevelopment of existing and vacant premises on Beach Industrial Estate could also
                     have important long term potential for the development of a renewable energy cluster.
                     It may be possible for the components of off-shore wind turbines to be manufactured
                     on sites in the Beach Industrial Estate for assembly on the SLP site on the Lowestoft
                     Outer Harbour prior to shipment and installation105

            •        EEDA has identified South Lowestoft Industrial Estate as a regionally strategic site
                     due mainly to its remaining capacity and good transport links. The existing
                     development opportunities on the estate seem favourable and could attract a broad
                     spectrum of modern light industrial and high-technology employers. This might
                     potentially include a renewable energy Centre of Excellence proposed by EEDA
                     which would serve to reinforce the sub-region’s profile as a centre for “green” energy
                     production.

            Traditional industries


B1.6        Historically the Lowestoft economy has been based around the port, non-renewable off-shore
            energy and food processing, together with traditional forms of seaside tourism. Each of these
            areas face significant challenges in the future:

            •        Port related activity: When compared with Felixstowe to the south and other UK
                     ports, port activity in Lowestoft is modest in scale with limited scope for expansion.
                     The port plays an important role in terms of servicing the offshore oil and gas
                     industry, fabricating and servicing rig structures, and is home to some of the major
                     firms in this field such as SLP. In addition the port at Lowestoft has a dry-dock
                     facility and is home to a fleet of inshore fishing vessels which sell to the market and
                     food processing companies close by. However, the port was recently dealt two

103
      Waveney Local Plan Review: Issues Report (January, 2001)
104
      Halcrow Group Limited for EEDA (2003) “Lake Lothing Development Study”
105
  The Great Yarmouth – Lowestoft Sub-regional Development Framework Study (2002) indicates that a current tenant of
  Beach Industrial Estate has expressed an interest in the assembly of the wind turbines which will be used at Scroby Sands.



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                     significant blows when Shell UK (an anchor firm and major employer) left the area
                     and the last remaining deep sea trawler fleet ceased to operate

            •        Food processing: Data suggest that Lowestoft, and its neighbour, Great Yarmouth,
                     have been at the centre of a food processing cluster which experienced a significant
                     decline in employment levels throughout the 1990s106. There remain a number of
                     important food processing companies in Lowestoft such as Birds Eye Walls which is
                     a major employer. Firms which service the main processors in the area are also in
                     evidence including freight distribution firms, fertilizer manufacturers and agricultural
                     merchants. The challenges facing this part of the economy are systematic / structural
                     in character driven by global markets

            •        Tourism: Lowestoft developed as a seaside holiday destination during the mid-late
                     19th century and it was during this period that much of the seafront features such as
                     hotels were constructed. It is these features together with modern arcades and other
                     attractions that remain the most prevalent features of the tourism offer. As is
                     common throughout the UK, demand for traditional seaside holidays has plummeted
                     in the face of competition from overseas destinations, recently given an additional
                     fillip by the emergence of budget airlines. Plans to reposition Lowestoft’s tourism
                     offer currently include the development of more all-weather facilities to encourage
                     more visitors and effectively lengthen the tourist season107.

            Emerging sectors and clusters


B1.7        Recent work on the sub-regional economy of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft began to explore
            a series of economic futures which might feasibly map on to the existing local infrastructure.
            Two areas of the local economy which could play an increasingly important role in sustaining
            and driving the sub-regional economy were identified: renewable energy production and the
            environmental economy.

            (1) Renewable energy


B1.8        A sector-cum-cluster with realistic potential for the economy of Lowestoft is renewable
            energy. Driven by the Government’s commitment to meet 10% of its electricity needs from
            renewable sources by 2010, this is an activity which has a clear market opportunity.
            According to one report, the East of England coast has the potential to provide 25% of the
            UK’s generating capacity through off-shore wind108. Lowestoft could play an important role
            at the core of this.


106
    SQW Limited for Suffolk County Council (2002) “Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Sub-regional Development
   Framework Study”
107
      Waveney Local Plan Review: Issues Report (January, 2001)
108
      AEA Technology (2000) “Sea Wind East”



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B1.9        Lowestoft has significant advantages and opportunities regarding off-shore wind energy in its
            coastal location in general and, more specifically, the transferable expertise and infrastructure
            associated with its long established specialisms in non-renewable forms of off-shore energy.
            For example, Lowestoft College offers a range of courses providing the skills required for the
            off-shore industry; these could be used or adapted to provide training appropriate to the needs
            of off-shore wind development.

B1.10 Given this context, EEDA has begun to look at the real potential of the east coast in terms of a
            renewable energy cluster. It subsequently produced a report109 examining the feasibility of a
            Centre of Excellence for renewable energy which might accommodate commercial renewable
            companies and academic institutions. If such a development were to be incorporated into the
            Lake Lothing redevelopment or Beach Industrial Estate, it could give significant impetus to
            this emerging sector in the Lowestoft sub-region.

            (2) Environmental economy


B1.11 The concept of the environmental economy is based on the contention that environmental and
            economic sustainability do not need to be seen as diametrically opposed alternatives; instead
            there is a growing body of opinion that a range of activities can provide win-win outcomes.
            The Lowestoft sub-region has some serious opportunities in the environmental economy
            domain. The area surrounding the town is of the highest quality including internationally
            important habitats such as the Broads, Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB and Heritage Coast,
            and a high quality of built environment throughout the smaller towns and villages.

B1.12 The sub-region attracts tourism in its own right, but its potential in terms of the environmental
            economy lies in its position at the centre of these resources. For example, the wetland interest
            is at its height in the over-wintering period, precisely when the tourism economy of Lowestoft
            is struggling the most. The link between the town and its hinterland needs to be strengthened.
            For example, the Broads are well known for their boating activity; Lowestoft could increase
            its role as a centre of this activity and develop as a gateway to the Broads from Europe.




109
      Douglas Westwood Ltd for EEDA (2002) “A Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy in the East of England”



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Summary SWOT for Lowestoft


Strengths                                                 Weaknesses

•   Coastal location and presence of active sea-port      •   Acute pockets of multiple deprivation
•   Proximity, and access to the Broads                   •   Ageing population
•   Large amount of vacant employment land and            •   High unemployment and low employment growth
    buildings
                                                          •   Low weekly earnings
•   High quality natural and built environment in the
    rural hinterland                                      •   Declining popularity of the traditional seaside
                                                              holiday offered by Lowestoft
•   Proximity to centres of the knowledge economy
    such as Norwich, Cambridge and Ipswich                •   Lack of local higher education presence
                                                          •   Poor accessibility through A12 road links

Opportunities                                             Threats

•   Renewable energy cluster: Skills base and             •   Relocation of off-shore oil and gas functions to
    commercial infrastructure suitable for the                mainland Europe
    development of the off-shore wind energy sector
                                                          •   Closure of the remaining food processing
•   Environmental economy: Lowestoft could evolve             companies, and the centre of the historic cluster
    as a centre and gateway to the broads and other
    rural tourism offers in the neighbouring hinterland   •   Failure of renewable energy sector to emerge

•   Image based on environmentally sustainable            •   Longer term impacts of climate change
    energy and high quality natural environment
•   Redevelopment around Lake Lothing
•   Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft taking action
    towards economic development as a sub-region




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B2 Ipswich

          Current Situation


B2.1      Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk and the largest urban centre in the county. The Ipswich
          sub-region, therefore, extends beyond the immediate boundaries of the town itself into the
          surrounding rural area. However, for the purpose of this chapter and in view of the data
          available to us, we concentrate on Ipswich District itself.

          Population


B2.2      The population of Ipswich, recorded in the 2001 Census, was just over 117,000. Projections
          for 2000-2010 anticipate a growth in the population of 4.4%, somewhat lower than the
          expected growth across the county as a whole (5.1%)110. Further analysis of the demographic
          profile indicates that the population of Ipswich is younger than that of the rest of the county
          with a higher proportion of the population aged under 35 years.

          Economic activity and deprivation


B2.3      Ipswich presents a mixed picture in terms of economic performance: on the positive side,
          average earnings are the second highest in the county111; less positive is the unemployment
          rate, which is higher than any other district112, and economic activity, which is below (if only
          marginally) that of the county average113. The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2000114
          provides some clarification of this picture. The index shows that whilst only two of the wards
          in Ipswich rank within the worst 10% nationally, nine of the 16 wards fall into the lowest
          50% of wards. Looking in more detail at the different elements that make up the IMD
          highlights that Ipswich performs worse, in relative terms, in relation to income and
          employment but that overall performance does not point to significant deprivation within the
          district. That said, the wards of Town, Gainsborough, Chantry, Whitton and Priory Heath
          consistently perform within the worst 10% of wards nationally115.


110
     Source: ONS
111
     Source: New Earnings Survey; Notes: Gross Average Weekly Earnings if Ipswich in 2002 were £343 compared with the
    highest earnings in the county in Suffolk Coastal (£364) and the county average of £326.
112
     Source: ONS; Notes: Unemployment in Ipswich in July 2003 was 4.9% compared with the average for Suffolk of 2%.
113
     Source: Labour Force Survey; Notes: in February 2003 economic activity rate in Ipswich was 80.9, marginally lower than
    the county average of 81%.
114
     Source: Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Indices of Deprivation 2000
115
     Source: IOD 2000; Analysis of the individual indices show that in relation to income, all but two of the wards in Ipswich
    fall within the worst 50% nationally; Town, Chantry and Whitton rank in the worst 10%; employment, all but three wards
    fall within the worst 50%; Town is ranks in the worst 7%; health, all but four of the wards fall within the worst 50%; but
    none rank lower than 15%; education, all but five of the wards fall within the worst 50%; Gainsborough, Chantry and
    Priory Heath rank in the worst 10%; housing, all but six of the wards fall within the worst 50%; but none rank lower than
    11% (Town); access, the lowest ranking wards in the district were ranked within 49%; child poverty, all but four of the
    wards fall within the worst 50%; Chantry, Whitton and Town rank in the worst 10%.

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         Employment and industrial profile


B2.4     Some 69,000 people are employed within Ipswich116. The town has a diverse economy with
         almost three quarters of employees working in the financial and business services (21%),
         distribution and retail (25%) and health and public (27%) sectors. This profile reflects the
         town’s administrative role, its position as a sub-regional retail centre and as a hub for the
         transport and distribution industry. It is also likely that there are a number of companies
         which operate as part of the Ipswich economy but are located outside the tightly drawn
         district boundary.

B2.5     High-tech employment is a feature of the Ipswich economy and a diverse cluster of
         technology companies has emerged within the borough. In 2001 the ABI identified that
         almost 2,500 people were employed in almost 345 high technology workplace units117. The
         majority are engaged in computer and related activities.

B2.6     However, Ipswich has been hit by a number of recent company closures, most of which are
         related to the global telecoms down-turn. Agilent – a high profile inward investor – has
         reduced significantly the scale of its operation in Ipswich while TXU and Contship have also
         made several hundred people redundant. These – and other – closures have had a major
         recent impact on the Ipswich economy.

         Growth and Development


B2.7     Ipswich is located on the main trunk routes through the county: the north to south A12 route
         and the east to west A14, providing easy access to Cambridge and London. The town also
         has good rail links with London although links with Cambridge and Felixstowe are poorer.
         Ipswich is serviced with broadband access, facilitating its image as a key site for high
         technology industry. In addition, Ipswich Port provides an important freight gateway. These
         linkages both contribute to the role of Ipswich within the county and the region and the
         potential for further growth and expansion.

B2.8     Currently there is concern that there may be a shortage of suitable premises available for
         immediate occupation and that the supply of accommodation is generally geared towards
         office occupiers118. However, the need to ensure a steady supply of employment land is
         recognised by the District Council119 and there is evidence of activity to promote the release
         of additional employment land and regeneration of parts of the town with a view to providing
         specialist premises to meet the needs of emerging sectors, in particular high technology
         companies.

116
    Source: Annual Business Inquiry, 2001
117
    Note: The AIB provides information on the number of ‘employing units’ and not companies.
118
    SQW Ltd, “Working paper Land, Property and Infrastructure”, 2003, SDA
119
    Source: Ipswich Local Plan, 2001, Ipswich Borough Council


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B2.9        Significant plans for the development of Ipswich, outlined in the Ipswich Local Plan120
            include the following:

            •        IP-City – is a partnership between the County Council, EEDA, ICT companies and
                     other local organisations to develop the high technology based of the Ipswich area as
                     part of the Cambridge to Ipswich hi tech corridor

            •        Ipswich Village – development of the area around the Ipswich Town Football Club
                     ground is an important component of the development at the fringe of the town centre
                     to develop the leisure and recreation facilities in Ipswich

            •        The Waterfront – This conservation area is one of the oldest parts of Ipswich and
                     focus of activities to regeneration area at the heart of the town

            •        The Port – Associated British Ports (ABP) is currently driving the modernisation and
                     expansion of the port at Ipswich. Over the past three years the port has received
                     investment with £15 million. The Borough Council sees the Haven Gateway
                     Initiative as an important opportunity for Ipswich Port and the options for further
                     expanding its role as a key sub-regional cargo port in particular by improving the road
                     network which services the port.




120
      Source: Ipswich Local Plan, 2001, Ipswich Borough Council


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Summary SWOT for Ipswich


Strengths                                               Weaknesses

•   Role as county town, sub-regional retail and        •    Pockets of multiple deprivation
    employment centre                                   •   Population growth projections which are lower
•   Young population                                        than the Suffolk average
•   Central position on the north-south and east-west   •   High unemployment and low economic activity
    regional road links                                     rates
•   Rail links with London                              •    Poor level of attainment amongst young people
•   Transport hub                                       •    Lack of local higher education presence
•   Scope for development and redevelopment             •   Current impacts surrounding high profile
•   Urban buzz provides a distinctive element of the        company closures and restructuring
    wider Suffolk offer

Opportunities                                           Threats

•   Further growth and promotion of Ipswich’s high      •   Loss momentum to ICT related activity because
    technology sector, in particular ICT related            of
    activities                                                    the down-turn in the market
•   Development of the Ipswich                                    shortage in prime sites for development
         Waterfront                                     •   No improvement to rail links between Ipswich and
         Port                                               Cambridge and Felixstowe
         Village
         IP-City (and the Ipswich to Cambridge
         corridor)
•   Scope for land release for employment and
    housing developments
•   Further development as a transport hub




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B3 Rural area and market towns

            Introduction


B3.1        Suffolk is an overwhelmingly rural county: six (of the seven) local authority districts and 156
            wards are defined by the Countryside Agency as “rural”121.                     Thus providing a separate
            analysis of rural Suffolk is actually quite difficult; indeed, much of the argument in Section
            A of this document must relate to rural Suffolk and the market towns within it. Conversely, it
            is important to recognise that rural areas in the west of the county are – in some respects –
            different from those in the east insofar as sub-regional links with Cambridge are likely to be
            stronger than those with Ipswich, and connections of this type bring with them particular
            threats and opportunities.

B3.2        Nevertheless, the rural parts of the county do face a distinctive set of challenges. At root,
            these can be traced to three sets of influences: the distinctive economic structure, the issues
            relating – in one way or another – to access, and a particular configuration of demographic
            and other socio-community processes. In addition, the policy context facing rural areas and
            the market towns really is quite distinctive - and it is changing rapidly. In the paragraphs that
            follow, we examine these different domains before turning to consider, more explicitly, issues
            relating to market towns as key service hubs within rural areas.

B3.3        Before progressing, however, it is important to comment briefly on definitional issues. In
            preparing this analysis, our remit has essentially been economic (and community /
            environmental) issues and processes in rural areas (defined broadly), not simply “rural
            economy” (conventionally defined around the land-based industries) – although clearly there
            is an important relationship between the two, albeit one that is changing rapidly and
            profoundly.

            Current Situation

            (a) Rural areas


B3.4        In comparative terms, the population of rural Suffolk has shown rapid and sustained growth.
            It increased by 14.5% between 1981 and 2001 compared to 11.1% across Suffolk as a whole
            and 1.3% across Great Britain122. Thus in terms of demographics, rural Suffolk is the fastest
            growing part of a fast-growing county. In this overall context, data from the 2001 Census
            provide an indication of the demographic profile in terms of age (see Table B3.1); the

121
      “State of the Countryside : East of England”, published by the Countryside Agency, 2002
122
      “Rural Suffolk Economic Profile” SQW, 2002



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            implication is that – compared to the region – rural Suffolk has a lower incidence of young
            people (both children and young adults) and a higher incidence of people aged 65 and over.
            The inference that we can draw – but not demonstrate – through these data is that a number of
            different processes are driving the growth of population:

            •          elements of the working population – particularly those aged 45-64 – might be
                       choosing to live in accessible rural areas and then either to commute to work in
                       Ipswich, Cambridge or possibly London, or to work from home

            •          the demographic profile would also be consistent with the in-movement of retirees to
                       rural Suffolk

            •          the census data would also support the view that young adults from rural Suffolk
                       leave the area in search of higher/further education and may not return to live in the
                       area.

            Table B3.1: Demographic profile of Rural Suffolk123 and the East of England region

                Age                        Rural Suffolk                            East of England
                0-19                                  132561              24.0%              1334088           24.8%
                20-44                                 173349              31.4%              1845243           34.2%
                45-64                                 142563              25.9%              1322193           24.5%
                65-74                                  52787               9.6%               465341            8.6%
                75 and over                            50224               9.1%               421275            7.8%
                Total                                 551484             100.0%              5388140          100.0%
                                                                                                (Source: Census, 2001)


B3.5        Underpinning these demographic trends are a number of key challenges for rural Suffolk and
            hence the economic development strategy. The dearth of higher education opportunities is
            certainly one. A second is the affordability of housing in rural areas: the Countryside
            Agency has identified Babergh, Mid Suffolk and Suffolk Coastal as districts in which the
            affordability of rural housing is a serious concern and this is affecting community viability
            and coherence124. A third key issue surrounds the social infrastructure and the sustainability
            of it: this is a particular issue for young people, but also for the elderly where access to key
            services may be very difficult.

B3.6        A fourth challenge – and one that must be a priority for the economic development strategy –
            surrounds the sustainability of the economic structure and the implications of it, particularly
            in terms of encouraging young people to live and work in rural areas. Within rural Suffolk,
            there is a high incidence of small and very small businesses. At the same time, in some
            sectors, a high proportion of employment is associated with a small number of large
            employers, many of which are concentrated in declining sectors: indeed, analysis of data

123
      Defined as Suffolk districts excluding Ipswich
124
      “State of the Countryside : East of England”, published by the Countryside Agency, 2002



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            suggests that 23% of all jobs in rural parts of the county are in declining sectors (defined by
            low levels of GDP growth) compared with 8% across the East of England125.                        Both
            characteristics are important.

B3.7        Against this backdrop, a group of functionally inter-related sectors are quite strongly
            represented in terms of employment across rural Suffolk; the component sectors include
            agriculture, food and drink, and tourism and leisure. Together, these account for around 15-
            20% of employees in employment. Although they clearly do not account for the majority of
            the economy of rural areas – and data suggest that in the county’s rural wards, as many people
            are employed in computing and related services and electrical equipment manufacture as in
            food and drink – these sectors are functionally inter-connected and they have a major bearing
            on economic performance. Moreover, the performance of these core sectors has a significant
            multiplier effect in terms of the robustness of the market for (and therefore employment in)
            other local services. It is therefore important to understand some of the underlying trends and
            processes.

            •        Agriculture: Structural changes – accelerated by the FMD crisis, swine fever, etc. –
                     are occurring within the farming industry. Although the data are very unreliable,
                     official statistics suggest that across rural Suffolk, some 6,000 people are employed
                     directly in agriculture126 - although this number has declined sharply with knock-on
                     effects on associated and linked industries, notably haulage, agricultural machinery
                     providers, feed merchants, etc. Suffolk’s agricultural industry is characterised by
                     distinctive – and inter-related – specialisms: the county can claim over 300
                     pork/poultry units and these in turn provide a key market for the 1,700 or so cereals
                     enterprises127

            •        Food and drink: In 2001, the number of employees in employment in food and
                     drink manufacturing across Suffolk was about 11,500; over a quarter of the regional
                     total. In terms of jobs, the sector is dominated by large companies: British Sugar,
                     Adnams, Muntons, Grampian, Greene King and Buxted Chicken all have a strong
                     local presence. Many have significant relationships with local suppliers, but all are
                     ensconced in a fiercely competitive global agri-food system, and as a result, there has
                     been significant pressure leading to rationalisation, restructuring and job losses

            •        Tourism: Tourism is a third major sector for rural Suffolk and it employs significant
                     numbers of people (9% of the total); it has also been an immediate target and
                     opportunity for diversifying farm businesses. Rural Suffolk has a very distinctive
                     tourism offer and one that is attractive, particularly to short break tourists from the
                     older age groups. A key concern with the tourism sector is the extent to which
125
      “Rural Suffolk Economic Profile” SQW, 2002
126
      “Rural Suffolk Economic Profile” SQW, 2002
127
      Strategic Review of the Meat Sector - prepared for EEDA, by Promar



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                     businesses – and the employment they generate (much of it low wage, part time and
                     seasonal) – are genuinely sustainable.

B3.8        Thus while the economic headlines appear to be robust (e.g. unemployment claimant count
            data for 2002 show that there were 4000 unemployed people in rural Suffolk in 2002 – a
            decrease of 7,000 since 1996) the three cameos of key sectors point to some underlying
            weaknesses which are profoundly shaping the economy of rural areas. One key issue is that
            too many jobs in these sectors – and thus in the rural economy as a whole – are associated
            with low value-added and low wage activities. Nationally, across tourism, farming and food
            and drink, average earnings are 65%, 68% and 90% respectively of the all-sector full time
            earnings average. And consistent with this is the observation that average weekly earnings in
            2002 were less than £310 in the rural districts of Babergh, Forest Heath, Mid Suffolk and
            Waveney; the average across Suffolk was £326 and across the East of England was £374.
            Similarly, the reported weakness of the commercial property market across much of Suffolk
            might be regarded as indicative of this structural concern. Against this backdrop, economic
            diversification into higher value-added activities must be a priority as a basis for long term
            and sustainable regeneration and revival.

B3.9        However, there are also important opportunities – and some real strengths – in terms of the
            economy of rural Suffolk, many of which derive – to some extent – from the quality of life
            that the rural area can provide. Across rural England as a whole, some 40,000-45,000 new
            firms are registered for VAT each year. In this context, a report by the Countryside Agency
            recently argued that “whilst it is not possible to look behind these start-up data for the origin
            of owners, evidence from a variety of surveys of rural firms, employers and micro-businesses
            and into migration gives strong indications that many of these new rural businesses are
            started by in-migrants and their families”128. Indeed, the report concludes that – on average –
            almost three jobs are created per migrant and it suggests that as many as two-thirds of new
            firms are created by people moving from urban to rural areas, many of whom are attracted by
            the quality of rural life. We observed above that rural Suffolk had seen rapid population
            growth and it may be that new micro-enterprises – some of them in high value-added
            activities – are being formed as a result; our recent study of the Cambridge to Ipswich Hi
            Tech Corridor certainly appeared to endorse this argument while resources such as the
            Technology Centre at Framlingham are encouraging and nurture higher value-added and
            technology-based start-ups. In practice, the extent to which this potential is fully captured
            will depend – in large part – on progress with regard to the roll-out of broadband: a key
            infrastructural issue for businesses in rural Suffolk.

B3.10 In addition – and related – the quality of the rural environment ought also to be considered as
            a key asset for sustainable economic development. On one estimate, the environment sector

128
      “Rural Economies: Stepping Stones to Healthier Futures” Published by the Countryside Agency, March 2003 page 27



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            accounts for 12% of employment in rural Suffolk compared with 10% across the county as a
            whole and 6% across the region129. Moreover, with the European Commission’s proposals
            following the Mid Term Review of CAP, there is a strong likelihood that additional monies
            will be channelled into agri-environment programmes, thereby providing a significant
            investment in the rural environment – through, for example, the restoration of ponds and
            hedgerows. Interventions of this type have been – and will be – important in sustaining the
            quality of the rural environment and a major challenge for the strategy must be to harness
            these investments creatively and as a fillip to the rural economy.

            (b) Market towns


B3.11 Within the area that we are defining as rural Suffolk, there are some significant towns. Of
            these, Bury St Edmunds (with a population of 35,000), Haverhill (21,400), Sudbury (19,900),
            Newmarket (14,870) and Stowmarket (14,170) are the largest. All of these towns are playing
            key roles vis-à-vis their rural hinterlands; for example, many of the large food and drink
            companies mentioned above are located on the edge of these towns.

B3.12 The Rural White Paper (2000) attached great significance to the role of market towns in terms
            of effecting rural regeneration. As a result, the Countryside Agency and the relevant RDA
            (EEDA) launched the Market Towns Initiative;                  five Suffolk towns are currently being
            supported through the MTI (Beccles, Brandon, Debenham, Wicken Market, and Woodbridge
            and Melton). The participating towns have completed wide-ranging health checks and –
            through an action planning process – have identified priorities and projects for MTI funding
            across the domains of economy, environment, transport, and community and leisure130. While
            many of these projects tend to be small in scale and local in focus, they are significant insofar
            as they are contributing to the social and physical infrastructures of market towns which exist
            at the heart of rural economies.

            (c) Reform of CAP and the changing policy environment


B3.13 Finally, in considering the current situation facing rural areas and market towns, it is
            important to rehearse briefly the changes in the rural policy environment that are currently
            underway. These will have a substantial and substantive impact on Suffolk – and other
            predominantly rural areas – and they must be taken into account in revisiting the economic
            development strategy.

B3.14 The most profound changes are associated with the outcome of the Mid Term Review of
            CAP. Following protracted debate, a new package was agreed by the Council of the EU in

129
      “Rural Suffolk Economic Profile” SQW, 2002
130
    Different towns have identified different issues and priorities. For example, the Health Check for Beccles Heath flagged
   the over-dependence on large employers locally whereas the Debenham assessment highlighted the significance of the
   declining employment base



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            June 2003. The main elements of the reform include the decoupling of subsidies from
            production, the imperative for cross-compliance (i.e. payments to farmers will depend on
            achieving environmental and other standards), and the move to dynamic modulation (moving
            monies from Pillar I to Pillar II). The latter will result in more money being made available
            for rural development and agri-environment measures.                   With the decline of the other
            structural funds, this increase could come to represent a very significant resource for Suffolk
            – and the economic development strategy ought to be attuned to this.

B3.2        At a national level, the recently published Rural White Paper Review is a forerunner to a new
            Defra rural strategy, and it provides a good indication of the likely future direction of national
            policy131. It makes a strong commitment to “a radical modernising approach to rural policy”,
            and it sets out five main challenges for rural England as a whole:

            •        clarifying the objectives, achieving greater prioritisation and targeting need

            •        delivering properly integrated sustainable development

            •        understanding and defining national, regional, sub-regional and local roles better, as
                     well as the linkages between urban and rural areas (and the substantial variations
                     within rural areas)

            •        improving governance and delivery arrangements

            •        continuing to develop a solid evidence base and evaluation framework.

B3.15 At a regional level, key recent policy developments include the launch of EEDA’s rural
            renaissance programme – the successor to Rural Priority Areas and the Rural Development
            Programme – which is now being delivered through the Local Economic Partnerships (SDA
            in Suffolk). In addition, many theme-based interventions and policies have an important rural
            dimension including, perhaps most importantly, those relating to the provision of the
            broadband infrastructure.




131
      “Review of the Rural White Paper – Our Countryside: The Future”, Published by Defra, January 2004



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Summary SWOT for rural areas and market towns


 Strengths                                                  Weaknesses

 •   rapid population growth                                •   low wage economy with few opportunities for
                                                                young people
 •   low levels of unemployment
                                                            •   accessibility is a key issue in some areas
 •   very high quality natural and built environment is
     a key asset in terms of economic development           •   availability of broadband is a key issue in many
                                                                rural areas
 •   high quality of life
                                                            •   pockets of deprivation – very difficult to identify or
                                                                remedy in a rural area
                                                            •   some market towns characterised by urban
                                                                issues in the countryside – Sudbury and Haverhill
                                                                both – for example – have very deprived wards
                                                            •   access to learning is likely to be an issue in some
                                                                areas
                                                            •   high incidence of micro-businesses showing
                                                                limited growth; these businesses are difficult to
                                                                support
                                                            •   weak market for commercial property

 Opportunities                                              Threats

 •   in-moving entrepreneurs                                •   continued out-migration of young people due to
 •   CAP reform and the increased emphasis                      the “pull” of HE/jobs and the “push” of affordable
     attached to Pillar II – particular opportunities           housing
     surrounding agri-environment initiatives               •   ageing population with growing demands for
 •   scope to use the network of market towns to                health and social care
     greater effect                                         •   CAP reform and the immediate implications for
 •   tourism sector is likely to continue to grow               many land-based businesses

 •   biomass has growth potential                           •   agri-food industry is under enormous pressure
                                                                from imports and from powerful supermarket
 •   scope to build on the success of the Framingham            buyers
     Technology Centre
                                                            •   currently low levels of unemployment cannot be
 •   community centres could be used as a way of                an excuse for complacency: economic
     delivering skills and business support into the            diversification and restructuring is very important
     rural areas
                                                            •   issues surrounding community cohesion might
 •   potential to increase the role of market towns             deteriorate
 •   potential to harness links to sub-regional drivers –   •   inertia across a plethora of partnership structures
     Cambridge in the west, Ipswich in the east and
     Norwich in the north                                   •   NIMBYism is a real issue vis-à-vis economic
                                                                development




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B4 West Suffolk Districts and the Cambridge sub-
   region

       Introduction


B4.1   This spatial issues paper is different from the other three in that most of the Cambridge sub-
       region is not in Suffolk. However, the west Suffolk Districts – particularly Forest Heath and
       the south western part of St Edmundsbury – are subject to increasing influence from the
       Cambridge area, which could have significant implications for future economic and physical
       development in these areas.

       Current Situation


B4.2   The Cambridge sub-region is usually considered to extend from Cambridge at the centre
       outwards to include the surrounding ring of market towns. This ring includes Newmarket and
       Haverhill in Suffolk, and arguably it should also extend further eastwards to include
       Mildenhall/Red Lodge and Bury St Edmunds. There are certainly indications of increasing
       commuting from these areas to Cambridge along the A11 and A14, although until the 2001
       Census data on commuting are available, the evidence is mainly based on traffic flows and
       anecdote.

B4.3   The Cambridge sub-region is one of the fastest growing parts of the East of England, in terms
       of both population and economic development. However, largely because of administrative
       boundaries, this growth has to date had relatively little impact on planning and economic
       development policies in Suffolk. For example, the Suffolk Structure Plan allows for modest
       growth in Forest Heath (which has the lowest level of new housing allocations of any Suffolk
       District), despite its proximity to Cambridge. Policies for Haverhill allow for higher levels of
       employment and housing growth, though on a lesser scale than in Bury St Edmunds and
       Ipswich. Similarly, the previous version of the economic development strategy made
       relatively little reference to the impact of Cambridge.

B4.4   This historic perspective is now being overtaken by events. For example, the Greater
       Cambridge Partnership includes as members Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury Councils, and
       the Cambridge Network – the private sector led network of (mainly high tech) businesses
       around Cambridge – has numerous members in Suffolk. In addition, a strategy and action
       plan for the Cambridge to Ipswich High Tech Corridor has been produced which seeks to
       support entrepreneurship and business growth throughout the area, particularly through
       increasing business linkages between either end of the Corridor and the middle, where there
       is currently relatively little high tech activity.


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B4.5        Just as west Suffolk is increasingly being perceived as part of – or at least linked with – the
            Cambridge sub-region, the sub-region is increasingly being perceived within the wider
            context of the M11 Corridor. This is partly a result of public policy, and partly business
            driven. The former includes the identification of the M11 Corridor as one of four locations in
            the South East and East of England to accommodate major growth in the Government’s
            Communities Plan, and as an economic sub-region by EEDA. The recent decision to expand
            Stansted to a two airport runway provides an additional impetus to this policy led growth. The
            strong business linkages down the M11 Corridor – particularly the southwards spread of the
            biotechnology cluster and its specialist labour market – and the increasing business use of
            Stansted also illustrate the increasing functional links between the Cambridge sub-region and
            areas to the south.

            Population


B4.6        The Cambridge sub-region, as defined in the Cambridgeshire Structure Plan, had a population
            of around 410,000 in 1999, 100,000 of which were in Cambridge city. The area’s population
            grew by 25,600, or 6.7%, between 1991 and 1999, and the rate of growth is expected to
            increase in future from an annual rate of 0.8% to 1.1%. Projections for 1999-2016 anticipate
            a population growth of 21% (85,000 people)132, compared with the expectation of a growth of
            just over 5% in Suffolk between 2000 and 2010133.

B4.7        SQW’s revisit of the Cambridge Phenomenon (undertaken in 1998/99 and published in 2000)
            observed that, based on data from the labour force of high tech firms, the better paid managers
            and professionals generally sought, and were able to afford, housing within or close to
            Cambridge, whereas the young, lower paid and less skilled workforce was typically moving
            out of Cambridge to find affordable accommodation in surrounding towns and villages. The
            interplay of economic development and housing market dynamics may therefore be leading to
            some re-structuring of the population distribution in the sub-region, which will affect the west
            Suffolk towns (e.g. Addenbrooke’s Hospital buses staff from Haverhill, which has lower cost
            housing than Cambridge).

            Economic activity


B4.8        The Cambridge sub-region has benefited from consistently strong economic performance over
            the last 20 years, which is expected to continue in future. Between 1999 and 2016, the number
            of jobs in the Cambridge sub-region is expected to grow by 51,000 to 293,000, an annual
            increase of 1.1%, the same as for population. To put this in context, 18,000 new jobs were
            created in the whole of Suffolk between 1991 and 1998, which if this growth rate continued



132
      Source: Cambridgeshire Structure Plan, 2003
133
      Source: ONS


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       would result in nearly 44,000 jobs being created between 1999 and 2016. This is 86% of the
       total expected for the Cambridge sub region over the same period.

B4.9   The forecasts for the M11 Corridor are equally startling in scale. The whole area, stretching
       from the Lea Valley northwards through Harlow and Stansted to Cambridge, is expected to
       provide around 750,000 more jobs by 2021, and accommodate another 130,000 dwellings,
       rising to 200,000 by 2036. Therefore there are plans for very major employment and housing
       growth over the next 20 years in the M11 Corridor, much of which is easily accessible from
       (and to) west Suffolk.

       Employment profile


B4.10 The Cambridge sub region has an increasingly diverse employment base. Past growth has
       been based on the very strong performance of the high tech sector, combined with the
       emergence of Cambridge as the main regional centre for government and financial and
       business services. Education and health services, and the retail and tourism sectors, have also
       performed consistently strongly.

B4.11 The high tech sector itself is diverse, with particular strengths evident in software,
       biotechnology and contract R&D. All of these sectors have grown faster in the last 20 years
       than the more ‘traditional’ Cambridge high tech sectors of instrument engineering, computer
       hardware and electronics.

       Growth and Development


B4.12 The distribution of high tech employment has also changed, with proportionately more firms,
       and jobs, being located outside Cambridge in the surrounding towns and villages, and on new
       business and science parks such as Granta Park south of Cambridge (10 miles from Haverhill)
       and Cambridge Research Park on the A10, half way to Ely. In contrast, other employment
       growth – for example, in the public sector, and in financial and business services and retail -
       has tended to focus on Cambridge.

B4.13 Housing growth has for many years been dispersed around the Cambridge sub-region to
       preserve the unique character and setting of the City. However, there is recognition that this
       has created an unsustainable settlement pattern which cannot, for example, be adequately
       serviced by public transport. The new Structure Plan therefore proposes a more concentrated
       pattern of development, with major growth focused on a new settlement three miles north
       west of Cambridge, at Oakington/Longstanton, and in the longer term development of areas
       on the urban fringe of the city to the east (the airport), north (around the Chesterton rail
       sidings) and south (between Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Trumpington).




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Summary SWOT for west Suffolk districts and the Cambridge sub-region


  Strengths                                                   Weaknesses

    •   consistent and strong growth of both population         •   to date, the outstanding economic performance
        and the economy                                             of the Cambridge sub-region has had relatively
                                                                    little impact on much of west Suffolk
    •   one of the largest, most dynamic, and most
        entrepreneurial high tech business communities          •   historically, planning for the Cambridge sub-
        in UK                                                       region has paid little attention to west Suffolk,
                                                                    and vice versa
    •   major growth planned over the next 15 years
                                                                •   commuting from west Suffolk to the Cambridge
    •   part of the M11 Corridor, one of four major                 area has increased, but relatively few jobs
        growth areas in south east and east of England.             ‘Cambridge’ jobs have located in this area
    •   Cambridge is an excellent international brand

  Opportunities                                               Threats

    •   attract some of the economic growth generated           •   west Suffolk becomes a commuter housing area
        by Cambridge to west Suffolk, eg through                    for the Cambridge sub region and the M11
        development of incubation space and business                Corridor, but attracts little business development
        parks
                                                                •   increased congestion on the roads, and no
    •   use the Cambridge to Ipswich High Tech                      improvement to rail links between Cambridge
        Corridor to raise the profile of west Suffolk and           and west Suffolk
        attract new business activities
                                                                •   the proximity of Cambridge causes overheating
    •   use the excellent location of Haverhill in relation         in the west Suffolk property market, pricing out
        to both Cambridge and the M11 Corridor and                  some people and some jobs
        Stansted to stimulate further growth in the town
    •   attract complementary activities which
        Cambridge cannot easily accommodate, such
        as high tech manufacturing




                                                                                                                        72
SECTION C

BASELINE
                                                             Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                          Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis



C1 Economic Baseline

            Introduction


C1.1        In this Section we seek to provide an economic baseline for Suffolk. Establishing an agreed
            baseline is important as it will provide the benchmark against which subsequent progress of
            the strategy will be monitored and measured. The baseline draws on a number of standard
            statistical indicators and analyses the state of Suffolk, placing significant emphasis on:

            •        the current situation in Suffolk in relation to England and the East of England

            •        changes over the past decade

            •        anticipated or projected changes over the next decade – where information is
                     available

            •        intra-county variations by comparing districts or urban and rural areas.

C1.2        Much of the information in this Section has informed the discussions in Sections A and B.

            Population


C1.3        Suffolk has a population of 668,548, representing 12% of the East of England population134.
            The rural nature of the county is illustrated by the low density of the population: in 2001, East
            of England population density was 282 persons per square kilometre compared with 176
            persons in Suffolk135.

C1.4        Over the past two decades, the population has grown in line with that of the East of England,
            and far faster than the national rate. Between 1981 and 2001 the rate of growth across the
            East of England and Suffolk was 11%, compared with 1.3% nationally.                         However, for
            Suffolk, the growth rate was greater during the first rather than the second decade as
            illustrated in Figure C1.1 whilst, overall, the East of England saw greater increase in
            population between 1991 and 2001.




134
      Data from the 2001 Census; East of England population for 2001 is 5,388,154. Between 1981 and 1991 the growth rate
      was 5.8%, compared with 4.8% between 1991 and 2001.
135
      The information is based on the Population Mid-Year Estimate 2001. The mid-2001 estimate is based on the results of
      the 2001 Census. The estimate takes into account population change due to births, deaths and net migration between
      Census day (29th April 2001) and the mid-year (30th June 2001). Source Office for National Statistics



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                                Figure C1.1: % Change in Population

               12.00%

               10.00%
                                                                                East of
                8.00%                                                           England
                6.00%
                                                                                Suffolk
                4.00%

                2.00%

                0.00%
                          1981-1991       1991-2001       1981-2001

              (Source: Census 1981, 1991, 2001)



C1.5      Within Suffolk, the pattern of growth has varied between the districts with the more rural
          areas showing greater rates of growth136: Mid Suffolk population grew by 9.7% between
          1991 and 2001 and Suffolk Coastal by 6.2%. This compares with growth of 0.1% in Ipswich.

C1.6      However, whilst overall population counts show a growing population in Suffolk, the age
          breakdown of this growth demonstrates that the population is losing younger people. Figure
          C1.2 illustrates the difference between the demographic profile of Suffolk and that of the East
          of England. Further investigation of the census data indicates that Suffolk currently has a
          working age137 population of 403,915 which represents 60% of the total population. While
          this is only slightly lower proportion than that of the working age population across the East
          of England, the lower proportion of the population in the 20-40 age group may result in a
          shrinking workforce in future years.

C1.7      The Rural Suffolk Economic Profile (2003)138 concluded that a range of causal factors may
          underpin these population trends, including:

          •          movement within the county – for example of young families from the urban wards
                     out to rural wards, attracted by the pleasant environment and schools




136
    Data from the 1981, 1991 and 2001 census show that between 1991 and 2001 the rate of growth in Mid Suffolk was 10%
   compared with Ipswich which (Mid Suffolk 9.7%; St Edmundsbury 6.6%; Suffolk Coastal 6.2%; Waveney 5.0%;
   Babergh 4.6%; Forest Heath 1.2%; Ipswich 0.1%)
137
    Working age population taken from census 2001 age bands include males aged between 15 and 65 and females aged
   between 15 and 60.
138
   Source: Rural Suffolk Economic Profile, 2002, SDA. The profile found that simple population counts show that there is a
  growing population in Suffolk, and that in the rural areas growth rates are above the regional average. Age breakdowns of
  this growth however, demonstrate that there are more older people in rural Suffolk. When comparing actual population
  with what you would expect in the absence of any in or out-migration there is a loss of young people (from their late teens
  to early twenties), but an increase in all other age groups (including children). These factors together indicate that there is
  a lot of in-migration of all age groups including young families, while there is a loss of indigenous young people. It is not
  clear from this data whether the people moving into rural Suffolk are also working there; thus population growth among
  the working population could signify growth in commuting.



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           •        movement into rural Suffolk – by people accessing employment (probably in the
                    urban areas), or moving to the area to retire, or returning to the area after leaving to
                    study or work

           •        movement of young people out of rural Suffolk to access employment opportunities
                    or learning opportunities either in other parts of the county, or, in the case of higher
                    education, moving out to take up a University course elsewhere.


                                            Figure C1.2: Demographic Profile 2001

                        90+

                      85-89

                      80-84

                      75-79

                      70-74

                      65-69

                      60-64

                      55-59

                      50-54

                      45-49

                      40-44

                      35-39

                      30-34

                      25-29

                      20-24

                       15-19

                      10-14

                        5-9

                        0-4


                          0.0%   1.0%       2.0%    3.0%     4.0%    5.0%     6.0%      7.0%     8.0%

                    (Source: Census 2001)                               Suffolk     East of England



C1.8       Projections for the period 2000 to 2010 indicate that the pattern of population growth is
           expected to continue139: the population of Suffolk is expected to grow by 5.1% which is
           faster than the national rate of growth, predicted at 3.9%, but not as fast as the East of
           England (6%). Within Suffolk the pattern of growth is also expected to vary between the
           districts with Suffolk Coastal and Mid Suffolk experiencing the most growth.




139
      Source: SDA



                                                                                                                 75
                                                                 Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                              Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis




            Table C1.1 Predicted Population Change 2000-2010


                                     Per cent change
              East                                    5.1
              Suffolk                                  6
              Suffolk Coastal                         7.5
              Mid Suffolk                             7.3
              Forest Heath                             6
              St.Edmundsbury                          5.5
              Babergh                                 5.3
              Ipswich                                 4.4
              Waveney                                 0.6
              Source: SDA


            Labour force and economic activity


C1.9        Some 82.7% of the working age population is currently economically active (i.e. currently in,
            or looking for, employment)140. This is similar proportion to that of the East of England and
            higher than the overall England rate (79%). Over the past decade, this figure decreased from
            84.5% in May 1994 to the 82.7% recorded in May 2003. Projections of future economic
            activity rates, up to 2016, show a mix of decreasing activity rates for the younger population,
            with the exception of females aged between 25-34, and increasing activity rates for the older
            population, as set out in Table C1.2 below141.

            Table C1.2: Economic Activity Rate Projections


                                    2001                           2016
              Age             Male     Female               Male      Female
              16-24           76.9      66.6                75.0       64.3
              25-34           97.0      80.0                96.1       89.6
              35-44           95.7      88.7                95.7       88.7
              44-59           89.0      80.6                93.5       86.2
              60-64           55.9      24.3                64.3       28.0
              65 & over       8.4        3.5                13.8        4.9
              Source: ONS, DfES (1995)


C1.10 The current high rate of economic activity is further emphasised by the low unemployment
            rate in Suffolk. As of January 2004, 2.1% of the working age population of Suffolk was
            registered as unemployed142. This parallels the East of England figure (1.8%) but is lower

140
      The source of the data is the Labour Force Survey and the information is based on economically active persons within the
       working age population.
141
      Source: ONS/DfEE 1995-based projection & Bone Wells Associates; Notes: Projected activity rates are based on the
      assumption that Suffolk could achieve rates which were half way between present levels and the highest rates found in
      counties within the country
142
      Source: ONS; Notes: i. Rate is calculated by expressing the number of claimants as a 5 of the resident working age
      population; ii. Rates not available before 1996 due to boundary revisions


                                                                                                                           76
                                                                  Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                               Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis


            than the English average. Between 1996 and 2003, notwithstanding seasonal fluctuations,
            there has been a continual decrease in the unemployment rate – again mirroring the national
            and regional trends.

C1.11 There are, however, significant variations between the districts in Suffolk as shown in Figure
            C1.3. The unemployment rate in both Ipswich (3.7%) and Waveney (3.8%) is significantly
            higher than the county, regional and national averages. As argued in Section B, these data are
            likely to be underpinned by different causal processes:                    the economy of Waveney –
            particularly Lowestoft – appears to be in long term structural decline whereas Ipswich has
            been hit by a number of large scale company closures in high tech sectors suggesting that
            current difficulties may – to some extent – be cyclical, although persistent issues with regard
            to the local skills base are also a concern.


                                       Figure C1.3: Unemployment Rate, by District (%)

                        5%
                        4%
                        3%
                        2%
                        1%
                        0%
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                           (Source: ONS, Jan 2004 - supplied by SDA)



C1.12 Although the overall level of unemployment is low, long term unemployment is still evident
            in Suffolk. Information for February 2003 shows that 34% of those registered unemployed
            have been out of work for over 6 months.                      Therefore, whilst the overall figure for
            unemployment in Suffolk is lower than the national average, the proportion of those on long
            term unemployment is at the national level, higher than the East of England as a whole (19%).

            Workforce qualifications


C1.13 In terms of the qualifications143, the Suffolk workforce underperforms in comparison to
            regional and national qualification levels. Information from the Labour Force Survey for May
            2003 recorded that in Suffolk:

            •        just under 38% of the working age population had achieved qualifications of Level 3
                     or higher compared with 42% in the East of England and nearly 44% nationally




143
      Source: Labour Force Survey



                                                                                                                     77
                                                              Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                           Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis


            •        slightly over 22% of the working age population had achieved qualifications of Level
                     4 or higher compared with 24% regionally and just under 25% nationally.

C1.14 For both Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications, Suffolk started from a lower base in 1997 but
            over the six-year period has not matched the increase in qualification levels achieved in the
            East of England and nationally. In 1997, 34% of the working age population of Suffolk had
            achieved a Level 3 qualification or higher compared with 37% nationally; between 1997 and
            2003, Suffolk experienced an annual increase of 1.6% compared with 2% nationally.

C1.15 Looking in more detail at the county, there are significant differences between the
            qualifications levels of the population in each district. The most qualified workforce lives in
            Suffolk Coastal which in May 2003 had 48% of its workforce qualified to Level 3 or above
            and 28.6% to Level 4 or above.              In contrast, St Edmundsbury has the least qualified
            population with only 30.5% qualified to 3 or higher and 14.8% to Level 4.

            Employment


C1.16 In 2001 almost 300,000 people were employed in Suffolk, 13% of the East of England
            workforce144.      Employment in Suffolk has shown strong growth over the past decade.
            Between 1991 and 2001, employment increased by 23%, comparing favourably with the East
            of England (22%) and the national average (19%). This represents growth of 54,732 jobs and
            at a rate of 2.1% pa.

C1.17 In contrast, self employment represents a lower proportion of those in employment in Suffolk
            than the regional and the national average145. In May 2003 the rate of self employment as a
            proportion of those in employment in Suffolk was 11% (38,000 people) compared with a rate
            of 12.7% in the East of England and 12.2% nationally. Furthermore, the figures show that the
            rate of self employment has fallen across the board between 1994 and 2003146.

C1.18 Looking to the future, projections for employment growth in Suffolk were calculated for a
            business as usual scenario and enhanced growth scenario147. Over the period 2001-2021, the
            projections for Suffolk are for overall growth of between 10% (business as usual) and 16%
            (enhanced growth), representing absolute increases of 32,700 and 51,400 jobs respectively
            and equivalent to an annual growth rate of 0.5% pa and 0.7% pa.                          The district-level
144
    Source: Annual Business Inquiry, Annual Employment Survey; Notes: i. Agricultural class 0100 (SIC) data excluded
   from all county figures; ii. 1998 - 2001 data from the Annual Business Inquiry (ABI), 1995-98 data from the Annual
   Employment Survey (AES) which has been rescaled to be consistent with the ABI data, 1991-93 data from the AES (not
   rescaled); iii. county data for 1997 is missing due to local govt. re-organisation
145
      Source: Labour Force Survey
146
      From 12.3% in 1994 to 11% in 2003 in Suffolk; 13.7% to 12.7% in the East; 13% to 12.2% nationally.
147
    Source: Bone Wells Associates (RES Sub-Regional Studies); Notes: Bone Wells set out two scenarios for future growth
   in the East of England if the region was to be in the top 20 regions in the EU by 2010 these scenarios were extended to
   2021 to explore the dynamics of maintaining this ranking and to assist RPG14. The Business as Usual scenario projected
   growth on previous trends and the Enhanced Growth scenario is the rate of growth required to place the region in the top
   20 of all EU regions.



                                                                                                                        78
                                                       Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                    Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis


       breakdown of employment projections for the period 2000-2021 suggest significant intra-
       county variations as illustrated in Figure C1.4. The fastest rates of employment growth are
       projected in Suffolk Coastal (0.8% and 1.1% pa) while the slowest growth is anticipated in
       Waveney (0.2% and 0.4% pa).


                        Figure C1.4: Projected overall % change in em ploym ent 2000-2021,
                                            under different scenarios
               30%
               25%
                                                                                         Business As
               20%                                                                       Usual
               15%
               10%                                                                       Enhanced
                5%                                                                       Grow th
                0%

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              Source: Bone Wells (RES Sub-Regional Studies)


       Sectoral changes in the employment profile of Suffolk


C1.19 Compared to the national and regional average Suffolk has a higher level of employment in
       manufacturing, transport and communications and distribution, hotels and restaurants but is
       underrepresented in business and financial services. The proportion of total employment for
       2001 by the main sector divisions is provided in Figure C1.5. Looking back over the last 3
       years, it is possible to see how this has changed

       •       between 1998 and 2000, the greatest absolute growth in employment was seen within
               retailing/distribution (+13,322 jobs) and financial/business services (+10,252 jobs).
               Together, these sectors accounted for 88% of net employment growth across greater
               Suffolk

       •       during this period, over 2,854 manufacturing jobs were lost from within the county –
               a decrease of 5.6%

       •       over the same period, jobs within the banking/financial sector in Suffolk grew at the
               fastest rate: some 10.3% pa. Distribution/retailing grew at just over 6% and
               transport/communications by just under 5% pa while the overall number of jobs
               increased by 3.3% pa.




                                                                                                          79
                                                                   Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                                Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis



                                                 Figure C1.5: Employment by Sector 2001


                                         Other services


                Public administration, education & health


                     Banking, finance and insurance, etc


                        Transport and communications


                     Distribution, hotels and restaurants


                                           Construction


                                         Manufacturing


                                       Energy and water


                                  Agriculture and fishing


                                                          0%   5%      10%      15%       20%      25%      30%

                (Source Annual Business Inquiry, 2001)                       Suffolk   East of England   England



            Economy


C1.20 During the last decade, the economy of Suffolk has grown:

            •          GDP per head (based on current basic prices) has increased between 1993 and 1998
                       by £2,991148

            •          GVA149 (in 1995 constant prices) increased between 1990 and 2000 by £3.6bn

            •          although the rate of business formation is lower in Suffolk than the region and
                       nationally, the rate of business survival seems higher based on VAT registrations and
                       deregistrations

            •          earnings also increased in the range of 150% between 1992 and 2002150.

C1.21 Between 1993 and 1998, the rate of growth in GDP per head was comparable with the
            national average but lower than the regional rate of growth. This is reflected by GVA – a key
            measure of economic performance. Over the period 1990 to 2000, rates of growth were
            similar to the regional average, but lower than those for the fastest growing sub-regional
            economies. As Figure C1.6 suggests, GVA per capita grew at a rate of 1.8% pa in Suffolk
148
      Source: ONS; Notes: Figures are workplace-based and at current basic prices
149
      GVA is a workplace-based measure of output. Output generated by residents of Suffolk who work outside the county is
      therefore included in data for those areas, not Suffolk data
150
      Source: New Earnings Survey



                                                                                                                      80
                                                      Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                   Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis


       between 1990 and 2000; in Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, the corresponding figures were
       2.2% and 2.6% respectively151.


                               Figure C1.6: Average Annual Grow th Rate in GVA Per
                                                 Capita, 1990-2000
                       0.03


                       0.02


                       0.01


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                      (Source: Cambridge Econometrics, taken from "East of England
                      2010"published by EEDA, 2001)


C1.22 Looking to the future, the “business as usual” projection – published in EEDA’s Regional
       Economic Strategy – suggests a similar pattern: while Suffolk is projected to grow at a
       comparable rate to the regional average, it will be outpaced by some key counties (Figure
       C1.7).


                               Figure C1.7: Projected Average Annual Grow th Rate in
                                             GVA Per Capita, 2000-2010G80081
                                                    Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                 Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis


       Cambridgeshire (£400). This pattern has been accentuated over the last decade. In 1992,
       weekly earnings in Suffolk were 7.7% lower than the regional average. However, by 2002
       the gap had extended to 10.6%. The difference is further illustrated by the fact that the rate of
       growth between 1992 and 2002 in Suffolk was 4.1% compared with 4.4% across the region.
       Further disparity in earnings is found within Suffolk.         Earnings higher than the county
       average are found in St. Edmundsbury (£333), Ipswich (£343) and Suffolk Coastal (£364). In
       contrast weekly earnings in Waveney in 2002 were £279, much lower than any of the other
       districts.

       New firm formation


C1.24 Business generation, which can be measured in part through analysing VAT registrations and
       de-registrations, is relatively low in Suffolk in comparison to both the regional and national
       averages. Over the last decade, the rate of registration, as illustrated in Figure C1.8, has been
       consistently lower in Suffolk.


                             Figure C1.8: VAT Registrations as % of Stock 1994 - 2001

                    13.0%

                    12.0%                                                                 Suffolk

                    11.0%
                                                                                          East of
                    10.0%
                                                                                          England
                    9.0%
                                                                                          England
                    8.0%

                    7.0%
                          1994 1995 1996 1997       1998    1999   2000   2001
                (Source: Small Business Service)


C1.25 Encouragingly, however, data indicates that business survival rates are higher in Suffolk than
       the regional and national equivalent.       As shown in Figure C1.9, the rate of business
       deregistration in Suffolk between 1994 and 2001 as a proportion of the business stock was
       lower than both the East of England and England overall.


                            Figure C1.9: VAT Deregistrations as % of Stock 1994 - 2001
                13.0%

                12.0%
                                                                                          Suffolk
                11.0%

                10.0%                                                                     East of
                                                                                          England
                    9.0%
                                                                                          England
                    8.0%

                    7.0%
                          1994 1995 1996 1997       1998    1999   2000   2001
               (Source: Small Business Services)




                                                                                                       82
                                                    Towards an Economic Development Strategy for Suffolk
                                                 Thematic and Spatial Issues Papers, and Baseline Analysis


C1.26 Looking at the districts, data for 2001 shows that the highest registration (13.2%) and
       deregistration (15.6%) rates were found in Ipswich, indicating that this was the most dynamic
       area in terms of business formation. Business formation rates were lower in Babergh (8.2%),
       Mid Suffolk (8.5%) and Waveney (8.6%), compared to the county average of 9.5%. Both
       Mid Suffolk and Babergh have relatively low levels of business deregistration indicating
       relative stability.   Waveney has a high rate of business deregistration (10.2%) which –
       alongside a low rate of registration – suggests a net fall in the business stock.




                                                                                                       83

								
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