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Haven takes message to Europe

PUBLISHED: 18:03 03 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2010

LEADERS of a project to boost the economy of the Felixstowe-Ipswich-Harwich area are taking their message to the mission fields of Europe.

The Haven Gateway Partnership, which has in its sights a number of key road and rail improvements as well as other projects, is organising two high-profile events in Holland and Belgium next month.

LEADERS of a project to boost the economy of the Felixstowe-Ipswich-Harwich area are taking their message to the mission fields of Europe.

The Haven Gateway Partnership, which has in its sights a number of key road and rail improvements as well as other projects, is organising two high-profile events in Holland and Belgium next month.

Members of the group will visit Brussels on April 3 and 4, the timing chosen to fit in with a series of major events there when the European Commission will be looking at the future distribution of Structural Aid funds.

The trip will include presentations and discussions with EC officers to focus on transportation, education and training, and regional development. MEPs have been invited to attend.

The visit to Holland will take place on April 10 and 11 when Haven Gateway Partnership delegates will travel from Harwich International Port on board the fast ferry HSS Stena Discovery to the Hook of Holland.

After a tour of the Stena Line's offices at the Hook, Dutch representatives from local and regional government and the commercial sector, will be welcomed on board the new ro-ro vessel Stena Britannica.

They will hear Haven Gateway Partnership chairman George Courtauld give a presentation about the partnership's aims and achievements.

"These two events are following our very successful reception at the House of Commons last autumn. We intend to raise the profile of the Haven Gateway – a major economic growth point," said Mr Courtauld.

"We are one of the UK's fastest-growing regions. Europe is on our doorstep. We have a world-class group of ports.

"The five Haven ports handle more than 40 million tonnes of cargo a year; Felixstowe alone handles 40 per cent of the UK's container movements and we have a growing passenger trade, with Harwich serving 1.3 million passengers last year. All this is backed by a thriving shipping and logistics sector.

"The Haven Gateway Partnership has also produced plans for business development, education and training, and tourism, which is already the source of many million of pounds for the region."

The partnership has already secured major funding from the East of England Development Agency and the Essex Economic Partnership.

It has set in motion a number of projects, including funding a cruise liner project officer to promote the area for cruise business; provision of interactive tourist information computer kiosks on board ferries serving Harwich; and creation of an initiative to improve training for the shipping, transport and logistics sector.


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