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Eastern Powerhouse letter to Secretary of State Liz Truss MP

The Eastern Powerhouse has sent a letter to both of the final two candidates in the Conservative Leadership race. The aim being to ensure that either of the possible future Prime Ministers acknowledges the significance of the East to their campaign, and the country.

TO: The Rt Hon Liz Truss MP

Dear Secretary of State Truss,

Congratulations on successfully making it to the final two in the contest to become the next leader of the Conservative party. I am following up on the first letter I sent to all candidates in the race, to introduce the Eastern Powerhouse.

I am aware that you have previously offered your support to the Eastern Powerhouse, which aims to promote the East of England nationally and internationally as the UK’s centre for innovation. As MP for SW Norfolk, you are particularly well placed to understand the potential of this region. We strongly believe that the East is set to become one of the most important centres globally in life science, technology, agritech and energy and we urge you, were you to become Prime Minister, to support investment here as part of your plan to grow the economy.

The recent Levelling Up White Paper completely overlooked the opportunities the East has to offer. Sensible investment here would grow the economy by up to £30bn per annum, allowing for more opportunities to invest across the rest of the country, yet the East is seemingly dismissed by Whitehall as an agricultural backwater. As Prime Minister, I hope that you would work with us to significantly raise the priority given to this region.

Recent government policy has centred on the Arc between Oxford, Cambridge, and London but it is clear that by failing to look East of Cambridge the government is missing out on potentially the biggest opportunity for economic growth in the UK. Linking Europe’s most successful tech centre, Cambridge, with the burgeoning economies of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, would build a UK tech cluster to rival any in the world. Silicon East should be at the heart of government policy, and the East as a whole should be central, rather than peripheral, to the government’s aims.

Given your ambition to supercharge the economy with Enterprise Zones, please consider the East as central to, rather than peripheral to your national policy. The Conservative party has made significant gains in the former “Red Wall” seats, constituencies that were for decades taken for granted by Labour. Be mindful that the East of England, with 52 Conservative MPs and around 25,000 members, is currently a “Blue Wall”; but we should be careful not to take it for granted in the same way.

The Eastern Powerhouse is an independent, member funded organisation that aims to promote the East of England at home and abroad. Please work with us and make sure that the East is part of your plan to build and grow the UK economy.

Sincerely yours,

James Palmer

Chair, Eastern Powerhouse

You can download the full version of the letter below:

Download PDF • 144KB


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