Four Projects Benefit From Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund

As part of their response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Suffolk’s Public Sector Leaders established the Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund (SIGIF), totalling £1.65m with contributions from Suffolk’s pooled business rates and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

The fund is open to projects which address the significant impact of Covid-19 on Suffolk’s businesses, employees, and our local economy.  Projects must be sponsored by either a Suffolk local authority and/or the New Anglia LEP. 

A total of £278,800 has been awarded to four projects in Round 3 of the SIGIF programme. 

Stephen Baker, Chief Executive of East Suffolk Council and Chief Executive Lead for the Suffolk Growth Programme Board said: “Covid-19 has had a significant impact on Suffolk’s businesses and our local economy. Since December 2020, more than £995,000 has been allocated through the SIGIF programme to support economic recovery across the county and this latest round of investment will help to boost local economic resilience as we begin to emerge from the restrictions.”

John Dugmore, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive said: “The latest awards from the SIGIF programme are excellent news for Suffolk businesses. It is good to see funding going to support projects which focus on innovation and digital skills, which very much align with our Tech East subsidiary. Tech East aims to drive expansion of the region’s tech cluster and attract digital tech talent of the same quality as these award winners.”

The successful projects from Round 3 are: 

  • A community partnership-led regeneration of land and community church hall close to Leiston town centre and high street, along with a cultural and leisure activities programme for visitors and residents. The land will be transformed into a community garden and recreation amenity that will provide an attractive open thoroughfare between the High Street, retail, and the town’s principal car park. A further £70,000 was awarded to the project by Leiston Town Council.
  • The development of a coordinated package of digital business recovery support for over 100 town centre businesses in Ipswich, including support for business digital strategy, marketing and diagnostics and coaching services.  
  • Investment in the extension of Castan Wood facilities at Martlesham operated by the Greenlight Trust, enabling capacity for services supporting adults, children and young people who are facing disadvantages and challenges in their lives, to access personal, social, academic, training and employment programmes. 
  • The creation of an Innovation Lab in Woodbridge, supporting co-working, innovation and business space support for micro and small business entrepreneurs, with further pop up and outreach labs network delivering innovation and technology guidance and support services across East Suffolk.

Tom Brown, CEO, Green Light Trust said: “We are extremely grateful to the Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund for providing us with a grant to help us create additional facilities for the individuals who attend our Martlesham Heath, Castan Wood site. We have been providing support to around 500 adults and children from this site for the past 5 years and this grant will enable us convert the building at the site to provide more effective services to our participants, particularly young people with additional needs and disabilities.” 

Morag McInnes, Smart Towns Project Manager for East Suffolk Council said: “Innovation Labs will expand into East Suffolk by developing and operating a coworking, innovation and business support space in central Woodbridge. This exciting project will provide opportunities for businesses to develop their post-Covid recovery, emphasising the need for developing innovative and new technology approaches for small businesses to ensure their adaption, and allowing them to unlock their post-pandemic potential. The full programme will offer business mentoring, peer support opportunities and technology demonstrations alongside a pop-up business outreach programme to East Suffolk business hubs located in other towns.”

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