Digital skills projects in Suffolk and Norfolk handed £14.5m funding

students in a computer class Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The funding aims to improve digital skills across Norfolk and Suffolk

Three new centres to boost digital skills will be built in Norfolk and Suffolk thanks to a £14.5m investment.

They include a £6.5m information technology centre at the University of Suffolk, and a £6.1m "digi-tech factory" at City College Norwich.

The cash has come from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as part of its £290m deal with the government.

The projects have been chosen to support the LEP's economic strategy, which sets targets for regional growth.

Suffolk New College will also receive £1.6m for a new centre to teach digital skills.

Norfolk and Suffolk county councils will share £440,000 to trial "internet of things" technology which will monitor areas such as traffic management or flooding and is expected to create 75 new jobs.

Boosting tech skills

The University of Suffolk's research and training centre will use the strengths of BT and technology businesses at Adastral Park to support the digital economy.

It is expected to train 520 students and 145 apprentices, and create 36 new jobs.

City College Norwich will combine digital technology, engineering and design courses, and will train nearly 600 students and apprentices.

LEP chairman Doug Field said: "The quality of the business case put forward for each of these four projects put them ahead of a host of other strong applications.

"I believe each will make a lasting and telling contribution to achieving the aims of our economic strategy."

Paul Winter, chair of the New Anglia skills board, said the funding would address a forecast shortage of digital skills.

The LEP strategy sets a target of growing Norfolk and Suffolk's £35bn economy by 50% by 2036, creating 88,000 jobs and 30,000 successful businesses.

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