LEP Summit announced

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP is hosting a Summit  to enable local businesses and other partners to meet the people who will be making local economic decisions going forwards.

Part of the half day event will be a Question Time-style debate that will offer attendees a rare opportunity to ask the questions on topics that really matter to them. On the day, the panel will include:

  • James Palmer, the recently-elected Conservative mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
  • Mark Reeve, Chairman of the LEP
  • Rachel Stopard, Interim Chief Executive of the Greater Cambridge City Deal, and,
  • Richard Duxbury, from the Trinity Mirror Group

The Summit will be held on Friday 30th June, and will aim to help businesses understand the various partnerships that will be working together to further improve the local economy.

Further speakers will be announced shortly.

The event will be held at the Granta Centre, Granta Park, Cambridge, CB21 6AL. The event will run from 8:30am until 12 noon.

Places must be booked in advance by emailing karen.ball@cambridge-news.co.uk.

London Stansted Airport sets new passenger record for April

London Stansted welcomed over 2.1 million passengers to the airport during its busiest ever April, an increase of 11% over the same month in 2016 and passing the previous high for the month set in 2006.

The record monthly total was boosted by the first full month of airlines’ summer schedules and a number of new route launches, average load factor of 89.7% on each aircraft – another record for the month of April – and the later Easter holidays.

The international markets reporting strong passenger growth compared to April last year include the Canary Islands, Cyprus and France plus destinations in both Turkey and Denmark.

In the 12 months ending April 2017, Stansted’s passenger numbers grew by 5.7% compared with the previous year with the moving annual total rising to over 24.5 million.

Andrew Cowan said:

“The start of the summer flying schedule is always a busy time at the airport but this year we have exceeded all previous records as we experienced our busiest ever April with over 2.1 million passengers passing through the terminal.

“The growth in passenger traffic was driven by strong demand for flights to many holiday hotspots across the Easter holidays, the launch of a host of new routes by our airline partners, particularly Ryanair and the newly arrived Jet2.com who kicked-off their first ever flight and holiday offer from any airport in the South-East. We also saw a record number of seats occupied on each flight for any April in the airport’s history.

“The summer season promises to be another very busy and exciting time for Stansted as airlines add even more routes and increase capacity to key destinations which is great news for passengers who want to fly from their local airport.

“To help us keep pace with increased demand and improve the passenger experience, a number of projects around the airport will soon begin to provide additional check-in capacity, add more seating in the departure lounge and significantly increase car parking capacity. This work will help improve customer service and add vital capacity during the period in advance of the new arrivals building becoming operational and the subsequent full transformation of existing terminal.”

Disruptors UNITE to showcase ground-breaking innovations

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and Method are excited to announce an event experience like you’ve never seen before. UNITE will challenge pre-conceptions, and leave common business events at the door. It will celebrate entrepreneurs and ideas that challenge and disrupt industries, pushing them forwards.

Held at Cambridge’s own hub of innovation, The Hauser Forum, UNITE will feature local businesses, from product conception and delivery specialists Dovetailed, through to fintech giant Bango, where Amazon and PayPal feature on the client books.

Taking place on Monday 19th June, the event will run from 10am until 1.30pm. Speakers from some of Cambridgeshire’s most innovative businesses will share their tips for standing out and winning in competitive marketplaces. There will also be an opportunity to see the latest innovative developments in 3D printing with Barclays Eagle Labs, virtual reality with Collusion and marketing and promoting your business with Google’s Digital Garage.

The full list of those attending are:

  • Dovetailed
  • BANGO
  • ARU REACTOR
  • Land
  • Google’s Digital Garage
  • Barclay’s Eagle Labs
  • Nu Food
  • Collusion

Key partners from across the GCGP area are supporting the event, including Signpost 2 Grow, the LEP’s business signposting service, Intellectual Property experts Marks & Clerk and Cambridge’s newest weekly newspaper, Cambridge Independent.

To find out more about the speakers and the exhibitors attending UNITE, visit the dedicated website: methodcreative.co.uk/unite.

The event is strictly limited to 100 spaces. To register your interest in attending the event, please email jess@methodcreative.co.uk.

 

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BUSINESSES HELP TO MAP SCIENCE & INNOVATION IN EAST

East of England Science and Innovation Audit Surveys

Science and Innovation related companies across the East are being asked to share their views to help shape the future of funding for the sector.

Science & Innovation Audits are, in essence, a ‘deep dive’ survey of cutting-edge innovation taking place in industry and the public sector, and are being conducted to better inform central Government of regional strengths for potential future funding streams, and to assist with foreign direct investment.

In the East of England, the Science and Innovation Audit (SIA) is being delivered by local partners and is structured across four themes: Life Sciences; Agri-Tech; Advanced Manufacturing and Materials; and ICT.

Each of the themes has a designated Theme Lead (and one or more Sub-Leads), who is responsible for their approach to evidence gathering. In all cases, these involve a review of secondary data and evidence and some combination of stakeholder and/or business engagement. To help support this work, all four themes have opted to launch surveys as part of their wider evidence gathering processes.

For Life Sciences and Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, the surveys are focused on small businesses across the East of England and their aim, fundamentally, is to understand the ways in which those businesses are operating within the wider innovation ecosystem.

For the ICT and Agri-Tech themes, the surveys are more broadly based. Their purpose is to look at the theme in the round and to gather expert insights into region-wide assets, opportunities and potentials.

Steven Wilson, Head of Innovation at the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, explains:

“These surveys are critically important for gathering a wide range of industry insights into all of our four themes. We would encourage as many businesses in those themes as possible to get involved and complete the surveys before 21st April to help Government better understand our regional strengths to enable them to better tailor potential funding streams in the future.”

Businesses can take part in the surveys by clicking on the following links:

All responses must be submitted by 21st April 2017, with the final SIA being submitted to Government in the summer.

Innovation project HIGHER meets in Cambridge

Delegates from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough area and eight other European regions met in Cambridge on 29th to 30th March as part of the HIGHER project. Funded through the Interreg Europe programme, HIGHER aims to impove innovation policy through a smart specialisation approach. HIGHER partners provide analysis and exchange experience and good practice on the management and implementation of policy instruments designed to promote innovation projects through collaboration between research centres, industry and public authorities.

The first day of the two-day event at the Future Business Centre in Cambridge provided a forum for a partner update on progress with the project. The second day gave an opportunity for the international partners to hear from Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network and GCGP LEP about UK approaches to smart specialisation, including the national Smart Specialisation Hub and the East of England Science and Innovation Audit. Delegates also learned about three research and innovation projects – KEEP+, REACTOR and Innovation Bridge – currently funded by ERDF in the GCGP area.

Partners from Stockholm shared some innovative approaches to smart specialisation from the Swedish capital. HIGHER partners also shared their best practice examples on various aspects of smart specialisations, including governance, the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process and transnational cooperation and value chains.

The HIGHER project has been operational since April 2016 and will run until April 2020. Through workshops, study visits and thematic summits, as well as joint analyses, peer reviews and e-learning modules, the partners exchange experiences and good practice with the aim of improving policy instruments in each region. The partnership is led by UAB Research Park in Barcelona. The other partners working alongside GCGP are from the Marche and Abruzzo Regions in Italy; Nordregio (Sweden); CEiiA (Portugal); the Lithuanian Innovation Centre; the Association of Urban Municipalities of Slovenia; and the Central Macedonia Region (Greece).

The next scheduled HIGHER event will be an Innovation Summit organised by the Lithuanian Innovation Centre, to be held in Vilnius on 17th to 18th May.

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London Stansted Airport receives planning permission for new £130 million arrivals building

  • New 34,000m2 building to support the airport’s growth over the next 10 -15 years
  • Planning permissions now secured for Stansted to build facilities needed to make full
    use of existing runway
  • Stansted will be the only UK airport operating dedicated arrivals and departures
    terminals, transforming the passenger experience
  • Works will include improvements to existing check-in area and departure lounge

London Stansted Airport today received planning permission from Uttlesford District Council for a new £130 million arrivals building that will enhance the passenger experience and provide capacity for growth over the next decade.

The 34,000m2 arrivals facility designed by architects Pascall+Watson and spanning three levels, is the centrepiece in MAG’s multi-million pound programme to transform Stansted and cater for future growth in passenger numbers. It will be situated next to the current terminal and will include larger immigration and baggage reclaim areas, new retail facilities, improved access for all onward transport options and a public forecourt to create a welcoming environment for arriving passengers.

The existing terminal will be reconfigured so that it is dedicated to departing passengers, providing more space at check-in, security and in the departure lounge. The first phase of works will begin later this summer to create some additional capacity in the short-term, including extra check-in desks, additional seating and restaurants in the departure lounge.

Construction of the dedicated arrivals building will take place entirely outside the current terminal, helping to minimise disruption to passengers. It will take up to three years to complete once work begins late next year.

Stansted Airport’s Chief Executive, Andrew Cowan, said:

“The granting of planning permission for our new £130 million arrivals building is excellent news for everyone connected to Stansted Airport and will transform our infrastructure and facilities to give our passengers the best possible experience.

“Stansted is a national asset and our investment will continue to boost competition and support economic growth, jobs and international connectivity for London and the East of England.

“At a time when airport capacity in the country is at a premium, Stansted is playing a vital role in supporting both the regional and national economy. This project will strengthen our ability to do this by enabling us to make the most efficient use of our single runway.

“We will also be investing in other terminal improvements in the short term to keep pace with increased passenger and airline demand that we expect over the next few years. This will include more check-in desks, extra seating and new restaurants in the departure lounge. This is on top of the on-going investment to improve car parking facilities at the airport. Once completed, Stansted will be the only UK airport operating dedicated arrivals and departures terminals.

“Since MAG acquired Stansted in early 2013, passenger numbers have grown by 40%, that’s more than seven million additional passengers than there were when we took over. We have also attracted new airlines to serve more than 40 new routes and created the largest network of European destinations in the country, providing greater competition and choice for our passengers.”

Welcoming the announcement, Aviation Minister, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said:

“These plans signal the start of an exciting new chapter for Stansted Airport, which already contributes £1 billion to the economy, and will help connect more passengers across the UK and throughout the world.

“Investment in our airports plays a key role in strengthening air links across the country, opening up new tourism and business opportunities and growing local economies. Plans for a dedicated arrivals building will ensure that Stansted can meet growing demand, improve the experience for passengers, create new jobs, and boost economic growth in the region. This is excellent news for the millions of passengers who travel through the airport each year.”

Mood Foods gets the golden ticket for new chocolate factory

An innovative chocolate producer based in South Cambridgeshire is set to scale up business thanks to a £105,683 Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative grant from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP.

Mood Foods Ltd has developed a method of producing chocolate that preserves more of the health benefits of the cacao beans than traditional roasting. The product is often termed ‘raw chocolate’ and generally sold in stores aimed at the health conscious.

09/12/13 Ombar - they make organic chocolate - founder Richard Turner for Cambs Biz mag . Picture: David Johnson

With increased consumer demand for healthy snacks, large mainstream retailers are now considering raw chocolate products. Mood Foods’ products have already established popularity in the Netherlands, with the products selling well in the largest supermarket chain in the country, as well as large health food chains and independent stores across the UK, Germany and France. Mood Foods has ambitions to be the supplier of choice for major stores seeking to stock raw chocolate products.

To meet this demand and remain competitive, Mood Foods needs to scale up its business. This means moving to – and fitting out – new, larger premises. This new space will allow a significant increase in production capacity, with greater focus on new product development and growing the commercial team. The £105,638 grant from the LEP will also safeguard 14 jobs.

The increased production capacity will allow Mood Foods to get its chocolate, sold under the brand name Ombar, into supermarkets in the UK with the confidence that it can meet delivery times and stock rotation requirements.

Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative Board and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, said:

“Mood Foods already has a strong reputation in the health food industry, and this grant will give its plans for growth a well-needed boost at a time when there is growing demand for their products. It is always important to ensure the protection of jobs in our area, so I am pleased to see that this funding will safeguard 14 jobs and allow the company the potential to further grow its commercial team.”

Richard Turner, Director at Mood Foods Ltd, said:

09/12/13 Ombar - they make organic chocolate - founder Richard Turner for Cambs Biz mag . Picture: David Johnson

Richard Turner – Founder of Mood Foods. Picture: David Johnson

“As a small company making a big leap forwards, resources are stretched to the maximum. We’re in a high-growth phase with tremendous opportunities ahead of us. The Agri-Tech Growth Initiative grant is perfect for us and we’re absolutely delighted to secure the funding. Along with our own contribution this is going to make a massive difference to being able to complete the expansion project. On completion of the project, Mood Foods will be in a strong position to drive the business forward and realise its potential.”

The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative is run by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with support from New Anglia LEP, Norfolk County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, and the local authorities covering this area.

Grants are available to organisations looking to invest in specialist equipment, new market and supply chain development, ways to improve productivity and efficiency, and the application and commercialisation of Research and Development.

To find out how the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative could help to grow your business, visit or call the LEP on 01480 277180.

Bridge foundations, Roman cows and a floating pontoon: the first three months of the A14 Cambridge to Huntington upgrade

Highways England’s project manager gives sneak peek into progress on the UK’s biggest road upgrade under construction.

Three months in to main construction on the A14’s £1.5bn upgrade in Cambridges2017-02-20-a14h2c-aerial-progress-03-032hire, Highways England’s project manager is giving a sneak peek into progress made so far – including technical innovations and archaeological finds.

Much has been achieved since main construction on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, Highways England’s biggest scheme currently in construction, started at the end of November last year.

Chris Griffin, A14 project manager at Highways England, talks through progress so far:

“As yellow diggers have become a familiar sight along the A14 corridor in Cambridgeshire, drivers will have noticed the changes along the existing A14. But there is plenty happening that they might not have noticed.”

Traffic management

“The narrow lanes, temporary speed limits, cones and barriers we’ve installed allow workers to build accesses for construction traffic and carry out vegetation clearance ahead of the bird nesting season while keeping disruption on the road to a minimum and keeping road users safe”, Chris explains.

All the trees that have been cut are being used as biomass for energy production locally and more trees will be replanted when the project nears completion.

“We are committed to keeping the main roads at full capacity during the day”, Chris continues, “so we only use overnight lane or carriageway closures if it is absolutely necessary, like for instance if we need to install signs or barriers, carry out pavement surveys or strengthen the carriageway where heavy machinery will need to cross on a regular basis.”control-room-2

“We’ve also installed CCTV cameras along the A14 so we can actively manage disruption to road users from a dedicated control room within the scheme’s main compound. This helps us to stay aware at all times of conditions on the road and to take measures quickly if things don’t go to plan.”

But the most interesting activities to date are probably the ones that can’t be seen from the road.

Construction of the River Great Ouse Viaduct

Chris explains: “A significant part of the scheme is a new bypass, including a viaduct over the River Great Ouse, which will run south of Huntingdon. This bypass is a brand new road so is being built away from the existing A14, with no disruption to road users other than when plant occasionally cross local roads while travelling along the new construction haul roads.

“Work on this section of the project is progressing well and to schedule. Building the 750-metre long River Great Ouse viaduct, which will carry the new A14 across the flood plain and river, is a complex task. The first step has been to install a pontoon which has a 52 tonne capacity, allowing fully laden dump trucks and plant access across the river. This pontoon is allowing us to install a temporary bridge so we can start building the viaduct itself.”rgov_pontoon

Construction of the foundations and columns for the viaduct is also under way, with plans for later this year to start installing the steelwork that supports the bridge deck and start casting the 800 concrete panels needed for the viaduct.

“We have also been building foundations for several of the new bridges”, he adds.  “People may have noticed our construction teams installing giant steel cages along the A1 recently. Once these are in place, concrete will be poured around them to form the bridge foundations and we’ll be able to start building the bridges themselves.”

Archaeology

The Archaeological team has also made great progress since starting excavations last autumn following extensive surveys and trial trenching. The team identified important archaeological remains dating from the prehistoric period through to the Romano-British and medieval periods.archaeology

“The trial trenching identified some 350 hectares of land that our archaeologists would need to look at”, says Chris. “Most of the remains show evidence of settlements or industrial activity, including a well-preserved series of Romano-British pottery kilns, some carving tools and even the remains of a cow.”

Excavations will be taking place across the scheme throughout 2017 and the team is planning on presenting findings to the local community once the archaeological work is finished.

“I am pleased with progress so far on the scheme”, says Chris. “We have a challenging timetable to deliver the scheme and open the new A14 to traffic by the end of 2020, so it is good to see the speed at which work is progressing as well as the innovative solutions we are using to tackle challenges.”

Fact File
  • Three main compounds have been built at Brampton (just off the A1), Ermine Street (A1198) and Swavesey (near Cambridge Services).  A smaller compound has been established within the Girton Interchange and a second compound at Brampton is taking shape.
  • 3km of temporary safety barriers installed along the A14, A428 (near Girton) and A1
  • 9 earthworks teams have started stripping topsoil along the offline section of the project
  • 128 piles have been installed, using nearly 8,000m3 of concrete to create foundations for 5 bridges with foundations for another 23 bridges still needing to be created
  • 42 km of temporary barriers installed along the offline section of the project (away from the current road)
  • 6km of offline haul roads have been built to allow construction traffic to move within the site without adding pressure on public roads
  • nearly 2km of utility cabling and pipes have been diverted, with another 100km still needing to be diverted
  • 13ha of archaeology work completed,  revealing a roman cow, arrowheads and carving tools
  • Building of the local access road between Dry Drayton and Girton has started. Once completed, people driving locally between Dry Drayton or Bar Hill and Cambridge will no longer need to use the A14.
  • A new habitat for endangered water voles at Alconbury Brook is being completed, with the water voles’ planned move-in in mid-spring
  • Six solar powered light towers are being trialled for night work. They don’t require generators so are green as well as quiet.

For the latest information about the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme, visit www.highway.gov.uk/A14C2H, follow @A14C2H on Twitter and like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/A14C2H/

COSMOS interactive science is visiting King’s Lynn

COSMOS, powered by Cambridge Science Centre, is coming to King’s Lynn Town Hall to deliver a week of amazing interactive science this Easter that you really need to come and see.

Open from Tuesday 4th April – Monday 10th April 2017, 10am – 4:30pm and FREE to the public.

Cambridge Science Centre has teamed up with the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP) and the UK Space Agency to provide the families of King’s Lynn with a week of fantastic, hands-on  science through a COSMOS Roadshow this Easter holiday.

The COSMOS Roadshow team will be bringing an exciting collection of their most popular hands-on, space themed exhibits to King’s Lynn Town Hall, located on Saturday Market Place. The pop-up Roadshow will include favourites such as the Gravity Well, along with drop in activities to help children, young people and their families understand the exciting range of careers linked to the UK’s space industries.

COSMOS Roadshow is dedicated to opening up a world of possibility in communities across East Anglia, engaging people of all ages with hands-on experiences of science, technology, engineering and maths – known as STEM.  According to the ASPIRES report from King’s College London, just 15% of young people aspire to be scientists.  However studies show that preconceptions of what STEM may deter young people from entering further education in these fields.  Cambridge Science Centre is committed to showing families that STEM provides a platform for children to use their imaginations to discover new innovations.

Helen Slaski, CEO of the Cambridge Science Centre, said: “We are thrilled to be visiting King’s Lynn for the very first time.  We are passionate about making STEM thrilling and accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds; encouraging creativity, investigation and discovery.  In King’s Lynn we are combining the best of our previous exhibitions with fantastic hands-on activities, sparking imaginations and inspiring young minds.”

Neil Darwin, Chief Executive of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said: “We’re delighted to see COSMOS working its way around the whole of our LEP area and venturing into King’s Lynn for the first time. The fun and interactive space themed exhibits will help to inspire local young people to pursue further education and careers in STEM related fields. We would encourage as many families as possible to visit the exhibition over the Easter holidays to experience COSMOS for themselves.”

To plan your Easter break with us, please visit www.cambridgesciencecentre.org and refer to the events calendar.

For more information about supporting Cambridge Science Centre or joining the Executive Council please contact Sam Davis, Development Manager on samdavis@cambridgesciencecentre.org.

VITAL ELY RAIL PROJECT ON TRACK

LEPS & NETWORK RAIL TO FUND ELY AREA RAIL IMPROVEMENTS FEASIBILITY WORK

An agreement to move forward work to improve rail capacity through the vital Ely area has taken a significant step forward thanks to funding from two LEPs.

The project, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will see both the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and New Anglia LEP fund technical and feasibility work associated with the Ely area, including Ely North Junction. This study, carried out by Network Rail, will provide options for funders to increase rail capacity and provide improvements for both freight and passenger services from King’s Cross to King’s Lynn, Ipswich to Peterborough and Felixstowe to Nuneaton and beyond.

This investment is a true partnership endeavour to unlock a significant barrier to economic growth in the East. The LEPs were approached for funding following the decision to defer work on additional capacity through Ely in 2015.

£2.2 million will be provided by the Strategic Freight Network, and £3.3 million each from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP and New Anglia LEP to fund this work. The total partnership investment of £8.8 million will be used to undertake detailed feasibility work that needs to be carried out before options for improvements to rail infrastructure within the Ely area can be considered for funding. The investment will also fund Network Rail to complete a business case, to demonstrate the value of investment by government and other potential funders.

The Ely area sees five railway lines come together making it a very complex area to address. At the moment, an average six trains pass through the area hourly with an additional service every two hours.  There is a need to significantly increase both freight and passenger capacity through the Ely area to support franchise commitments, future aspirations and local economic and housing growth.

Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk and a member of the Ely Area Taskforce, commented:

“I am delighted that funding has now been confirmed by the LEPs for the preparatory work on the Ely North rail junction along with the adjacent roads and level crossings. This is a project I first raised with the Department for Transport in 2011, meeting rail ministers as well as lobbying the Transport Secretary on the significant benefits of upgrading the rail junction. During the past two years, I have held rail summits pressing for all parties to work together so that a clear understanding of what will be needed in terms of costs and design can be produced. All credit to the local councils, Network Rail, LEPs, rail companies and DFT who fully engaged with this task. Meeting every month under the Chairmanship of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council Leader Ray Harding, they ensured the scheme remained on track with all necessary expenses fully accounted for. This is a key infrastructure project in the East that will provide a fantastic boost not only to the economy of South West Norfolk but the wider region as well. Work can start on developing the scheme in a couple of weeks and will take 24 months to complete. This will then place the Ely Area Enhancement Project at the front of the queue for the next round of government funding.”

Lucy Frazer QC, MP for South East Cambridgeshire and a member of the Ely Area Taskforce, said:

“I am delighted that the LEPs have come together to support funding to help progress the development of Ely junction to increase the train capacity for both passengers and freight. There has been significant joint working on this project at every level including the LEPs, the councils, MPs and others. I am very pleased that we can now progress the work and prepare for the next phase.”

George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk and a member of the Ely Area Taskforce, said:

“Faster East-West rail links are critical to giving more people in Norfolk access to the new jobs and opportunities being created in Cambridge. For too long the Norwich-Cambridge line has been a ‘Dads Army tank engine’ when it should be an ‘Innovation Express’. It is good news that we have got the funding to tackle the Ely junction bottleneck – the key to getting half-hourly services from Norwich to Cambridge, and the upgrade of the Norwich-Cambridge line I have been championing since 2010.”

Mark Reeve, Chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said:

“Work to improve the Ely North Junction is critical for unlocking economic growth across not only the LEP area, but across the whole of the East. By working together with New Anglia LEP and Network Rail we are meeting the Government’s challenge to fund feasibility work locally to accelerate the delivery of this scheme.”

Mark Pendlington, Chairman of New Anglia LEP, said:

“The Ely North Junction project will bring with it huge improvements for passengers in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, and for services connecting the UK’s busiest container port at Felixstowe with the Midlands and the North – both delivering jobs and economic growth for the East. Together with GCGP LEP and Network Rail, we’re confident that our investment can convince Government of the vital need for this project, and create the rail network businesses and passengers want and deserve.”

Richard Schofield, Route Managing Director for Network Rail’s Anglia route:

“At Network Rail we’re changing the way we do business with our customers and stakeholders on a local level. This is a fantastic example of the power of local decision making and devolution, recognising the investment needs at a regional level. This was never just a rail scheme, the benefits can be realised much more widely. By working collaboratively across industries and boundaries we’ve achieved a really innovate approach to funding development work here. If it demonstrates a positive business case, the upgrades would benefit the region for years to come and help us to deliver our ambitious Railway Upgrade Plan.”