Further boost to Suffolk’s economic recovery announced through SIGIF awards

Funded by Suffolk’s Public Sector Leaders as part of Suffolk’s Covid-19 Recovery Plan, SIGIF is now supporting 15 projects across the county, with additional contributions secured from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. The fund’s investment to date of £1.3 million is supporting projects with a total investment value of £4.2 million. 

 The  three  successful projects to be funded by the latest round of SIGIF are:  

@inc Felixstowe – The refurbishment of a redundant bank in Felixstowe to provide collaborative business space and support and a comprehensive programme of services for local businesses, their employees, and those looking for work. 

Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL) – Funding to support a major regeneration of the museum and see it transition into a truly national asset as the Food Museum. Funding will support facilities for the development of year-round events, new visitor experiences, and substantially improved facilities meeting the needs of current and future visitors.  

East Suffolk Town Celebrations – the SIGIF contribution will enable an extension to Government’s Welcome Back fund awarded to East Suffolk Council and will be used to deliver a series of targeted events to support the economic recovery of town centres and high streets within East Suffolk.   

Cllr Suzie Morley, Chair of Suffolk Public Sector Leaders, said: “SIGIF is making a big difference as part of our recovery, boosting economic resilience, and adding more value through unlocking investment, partnership building and shared learning. Suffolk Public Sector Leaders are investing in programmes to support innovation, support skills and workforce development, and of course responding creatively to the challenges faced across our High Streets. 

“The support for a further three excellent projects is very welcome, as is the confirmation of the SIGIF fund extending through 2022.” 

Initially established for one year, the Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund (SIGIF), totalling £1.65m with contributions from Suffolk’s pooled business rates and New Anglia LEP has received a further boost of £750,000 from Suffolk’s Public Sector Leaders to support projects in 2022.   

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.  

​Alex Till, CEO of MENTA said: “We are thrilled to be delivering the new co-working and business support space. Felixstowe has a long and demonstrable history of entrepreneurial flair, our work will be to help, encourage and support existing and newer businesses across all sectors.     

“MENTA has been an established name in Suffolk for more than thirty-five years and my team will be actively helping SMEs, freelancers and those seeking business support.” 

Jenny Cousins, Director of MEAL said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this funding. MEAL is in the process of rebranding to become the Food Museum, the only one nationally, and this is a vital step on the path to building the infrastructure to grow the visitor economy in central Suffolk.” 

Cllr Craig Rivett, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Economic Development at East Suffolk Council said: “East Suffolk Council is pleased to receive funding for two major projects that will benefit East Suffolk’s economy and build economic resilience within our town centres through partnership working.

“The town celebrations project will provide a series of pilot events, markets and activity to welcome back and celebrate each town’s distinctiveness, to raise pride in place as well as ultimately increasing footfall throughout the autumn and winter months within our town centres. We are also excited to hear that @inc Felixstowe will be developed in partnership with Menta to provide collaborative workspace and support to local businesses.”

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