Wensum & Coast Local Action Group

Creating resilient communities, growing businesses and enriching the environmental heritage of the Broads to build a thriving sustainable economy.

The Broads Local Action Group area cuts across the three council districts of Broadland, North Norfolk and Great Yarmouth (note urban Great Yarmouth is not included but all other parts of the Great Yarmouth Borough are).

Also included are the towns of Acle, Wroxham, Stalham and the substantial villages of Martham, Blofield and Brundal as well as all other towns and villages and the ‘very rural’ areas in between. The ‘Greater Norwich’ areas of Sprowston and Thorpe that are located in Broadland are included. All of these areas are possible sources of people and businesses that could benefit from a LIFT funded project.

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This map is only an approximation. 

 

Wensum and Coast Local Action Group under LEADER

Some of the characteristics of North Norfolk and the Wensum Valley are acres of rolling farmland where you may see no-one for hours on end, narrow country lanes, meandering streams and rivers and vast beaches making it a truly lovely area to drive through and to visit. But important as these things are to those who live here, we are also faced with barriers that can make life a struggle – limited job opportunities (both in numbers and sector), low expectations in our youngsters, restricted markets for our skills and products, poor communication infrastructure, and an unhealthy dependence on the private car for transport. For many, it is difficult to contribute effectively (or at all) to the area’s prosperity and the economic well-being of the community.

In many parts of the country, the decline of traditional industries has created opportunities as well as challenges, releasing concentrated groups of workers with relatively transferable skills as well as sites for redevelopment. Also common to rural areas of great beauty is a high proportion of older people: both those who have lived here all their lives, for whom it would not be practicable to leave and many more who have retired to the area. Could we reach them all, these are potentially consumers of local products and services; and they are a source both of experience and potentially productive skills which is often completely untapped.

Membership to date has grown in an iterative process around the desire to tackle the needs of the local area holistically, from the original launch of Norfolk’s Rural Development Strategy in October 2013 to the present day Local Action Group.

 

Priorities for funding in Wensum and Coast area are:

Through the LIFT programme, Wensum and Coast Local Action Group is looking to fund projects that will offer solutions for local businesses and people

  • Enable rural businesses to recruit, train and retain staff they need
  • Overcome the barriers faced by many working age residents in rural areas to be ready for, and secure employment including self- employment.

 

The Wensum and Coast area has a higher than national average proportion of residents working in basic level jobs and a lower than national average proportion people working in high skilled, professional level jobs.

There is a need to support existing businesses by helping them to ‘upskill’ existing employees with bespoke training packages in order to keep their business operating to capacity and to develop and grow.

Improving English language and basic numeracy, literacy and ICT skills could raise the confidence and prospects of employees and job seekers. This may also encourage those not currently seeking work to enter the local workforce.