1,700 new jobs along A11 corridor to be created thanks to new £3.4m substation
PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:27 13 March 2018
A new £3.4m electricity substaton will breathe new life into a key employment zone hampered by a lack of power - creating 1,700 new jobs and saving 1,450 more.
The 68.1 hectare site at Snetterton Heath, off the A11, has the potential to employ hundreds of people in the key Cambridge to Norwich Tech Corridor.
However a lack of power to the site has meant that its full potential has never been realised.
But that is now all set to change after Breckland Council’s planning committee approved a bid to build a new £3.4m substation to solve the problem.
Due to be built adjacent to the Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant, it is hoped the substation will provide an additional six-mega-volt amps (MVA) to Snetterton Heath.
This would be in addition to the site’s existing 3MVA - which is currently at full capacity.
The additional power would be achieved by tapping into the high-voltage power line, which connects the plant to the major network power distribution point at Diss.
Long identified as a key employment site by Breckland Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Snetterton Heath is seen as a strategic site within the Cambridge to Norwich A11 Tech corridor.
Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia LEP, said: “Improving the power supply to Snetterton Heath will allow for existing businesses to expand and will attract new employers to the area.
“This will help towards the ambition in the Economic Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk of creating 88,000 new jobs across the east by 2036.
“The strategy also identifies the Norwich to Cambridge A11 corridor as a priority place with significant potential for growth.”
A further 20 hectares of land on the site is proposed for allocation and it has been estimated that the site has the capacity to deliver 200,000sqm of employment space.
Snetterton district councillor William Smith said: “With the power on site we hope this will generate general employment and highly skilled employment to the Snetterton area. It is something very much to be welcomed by both Breckland and the wider area.”
A spokesman for Breckland Council said prior to the meeting: “We expect a funding bid for the project to be considered by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership in the coming weeks and if this is secured we expect to begin work on implementing the project in summer this year.”