A new report from Suffolk Growth has outlined the significant impact of the Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund (SIGIF) in the past 2 years acting as a catalyst for over £8m investment in local projects.
The Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund (SIGIF), created through allocations from Suffolk Public Sector Leaders and NALEP, has invested in 19 projects across Suffolk since its inception in December 2020.
So far SIGIF investment of £1.99m has levered in a total of £8.1m – essentially for every £1 of SIGIF investment a further £4 of matched investment has been secured.
10 of the 19 current SIGIF projects are still in progress with 2 further awards being finalised. Suffolk Growth Partnership works with each project team to support implementation, evaluate progress and make connections across wider Suffolk programmes.
Investment via SIGIF is focused on skills and development programmes for our businesses and key sectors; support for our high streets, directly supporting business creation and restoring pride in local towns;
investment in new business spaces and public facilities to create and sustain new ventures; training for people in employment and those looking to join the workforce.
To date the projects have engaged over 1400 businesses, for example providing direct digital skills to 54 small businesses in Ipswich and advising 400 in the development of Virtual High Streets in Sudbury, Stowmarket, Hadleigh, Needham Market and Eye.
SIGIF projects are expected to create at least 277 jobs over the next 3 years, and over 1,700 individuals are receiving direct training / upskilling through the projects.
Innovative market town and public realm improvements have been developed across East Suffolk and SIGIF supported the visitor economy with the Women’s tour cycling race hosted in historic Bury St Edmunds in 2022, generating a countywide economic impact of £617,000.
SIGIF has supported the creation of 5 new managed workplaces and innovation hubs across Suffolk (Sudbury, Melton, Eye, Southwold, Felixstowe) with space for 80 new businesses, a new innovation centre at the University of Suffolk, a new training centre in Martlesham, and converting St Stephens church in Ipswich to a new town centre music and cultural venue.
Chair of Suffolk Public Sector Leaders, Cllr Suzie Morley, commented:
“From the outset the aim of SIGIF was to ensure public investment in local projects generated maximum impact for Suffolk’s businesses, workforce, local economy and our communities. Suffolk Leaders wanted to respond strategically to the impact of the covid pandemic and restore confidence across our businesses, our town centres, and our wider economy.
This report highlights the fantastic success of the SIGIF programme and how we have benefited from working together, sharing best practice, learning and with robust evaluation across Suffolk projects facilitated by Suffolk Growth to create long term business recovery support and legacy.”
Introduced in September 2020, the Suffolk Inclusive Growth Investment Fund (SIGIF) is a £2.4m fund established with contributions from Suffolk Public Sector Leaders (SPSL), totalling £1.4m, and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP), of £1m. The fund is managed by Suffolk Growth and awards are made to support local economic recovery and development.
About Suffolk Growth: Funded by Suffolk Public Sector Leaders (SPSL) Suffolk Growth is a partnership organisation that brings together local authority teams to develop and deliver our shared inclusive growth agenda. The partnership works closely with New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP), Suffolk Chamber of Commerce (SCoC), the University of Suffolk, Suffolk Constabulary, and wider public sector teams, including communities and health.