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Expansion plan extra wages 'worth it'

PUBLISHED: 15:16 29 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:45 08 July 2010

REGENERATION chiefs say they are justified in spending more than half a million pounds on wages to help implement the expansion of Thetford.

Thetford is one of 29 growth point areas across the country designated for increased government investment and a rapid housing and employment boom over the next 13 years.

REGENERATION chiefs say they are justified in spending more than half a million pounds on wages to help implement the expansion of Thetford.

Thetford is one of 29 growth point areas across the country designated for increased government investment and a rapid housing and employment boom over the next 13 years.

Breckland Council is now proposing to spend £572,436 over the next three years on a five officer team to oversee the creation of 6,000 new homes and 6,000 jobs by 2021.

The district council already has two planning officers working on Thetford's growth point initiative, which has so far secured nearly £6m of government funding to be spent in the town by 2011.

But the authority now hopes to employ three more staff, including a growth point manager on a £54,000 salary, to help drive forward the delivery of new housing, employment areas, and infrastructure improvements.

Breckland Councillors are being recommended to approve the recruitment at a meeting today, which will be mainly reimbursed through the Department for Communities and Local Government and other external sources.

In a report to councillors, Mark Stanton, economic development and regeneration manager, said it was “critical” to have a strong, skilled and consistent core of personnel to deliver the town's expansion and attract further private and public sector match funding.

He added that failure to successfully deliver projects prioritised in the next first three years would lead to reduced government funding in the future of Thetford's growth point and the council would be seen as not having the “necessary competencies”.

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