A promising forecast for Norfolk’s self-contained economy

If the refreshing coastal lifestyle within a short reach of the county’s popular towns and city isn’t enough to lure business owners into setting up shop in Norfolk, then its increasingly attractive economy is hard to ignore.

With an array of charming market towns, expansive rural areas, business space and enterprise zones, the region thrives on accommodating a diverse ranges of businesses that are by no means limited to one sector.

In a survey carried out last year, it was reported that Norfolk’s £2.8bn a year visitor economy was “in a good place”. Further data also revealed that more than a quarter of all jobs in north Norfolk are reliant on tourism, so a recent growth in this market made for good news. However, the county’s success stretches further than its tourist appeal. Along with being a haven for the food, drink and agricultural sector, Norfolk is home to world class research in life sciences, food and health centres on the Norwich Research Park. There are also plans to attract more ICT, scientific and professional services to contribute to the region’s combined economic value of £18.6bn.

1 April 2016 saw the significant transition of what was formally RAF Coltishall into an Enterprise Park for local businesses. Norfolk County Council set aside £6.6m to make the former airbase, now known as Scottow Enterprise Park, fit for commercial use, including the benefit of superfast Broadband.

South Norfolk Council is also looking to boost prospects in its region having recently published its economic growth strategy 2016-21. Its five-year target includes supporting 75 business start-ups and 350 apprenticeship placements as well as increasing tourism spend by 4.3% and encouraging footfall in market towns to outperform the national average by 5%. Within ten years, it would like to see ten new businesses created along the A11 corridor – a recently enhanced highway through to Greater Cambridge and London.

In fact, improving transport links is also on Norfolk County Council’s agenda, with work having commenced on Norwich’s Northern Distributor Road (NDR), due to open in February 2018. Costing £178.5m, the NDR is expected to bring a huge economic boost, allowing businesses to grow and create more jobs for the local area.

Whilst it is true that Norfolk offers excellent business opportunities, it can still be a challenge to thrive in a competitive market. As a business coach in Norfolk, I find it interesting to keep an eye on the way a variety of businesses in the area are managing this. Kettle Foods, reported a 5.4% reduction in sales for the year ending July 2015, but has since turned its figures around by increasing investment in the brand to protect market share and by implementing an effective promotional strategy from new product development. Key to this success was a focused, forward-thinking approach – there is no room for complacency.

Interested in business coaching in Norfolk? For a no obligation friendly chat to see how I can help you take your business to the next level with business coaching or business consultancy for your Norfolk-based business, please contact me.

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