The development agency – which covers the counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk – wants to develop the East of England’s reputation as an ‘ideas’ region among several Whitehall departments, think tanks and MPs on relevant select committees, with a PA agency lobbying on its behalf. It will, for the first time, be holding receptions at the party conferences this year.
The five-year-old agency had hitherto concentrated on building its profile locally.
EEDA said its aim was to ‘influence the £22bn of public sector expenditure in the East of England’. It is planning to hire a consultancy to undertake a strategic audit of its public affairs needs up to the end of the year on fees of up to £50,000, before assisting the in-house team in implementing its plans over the following 15 months.
Director of comms Rachel Bosworth is overseeing the selection process.
The East of England is an £81bn economy and takes in the towns of Luton, Peterborough, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. Its rural hotspots, such as the Norfolk Broads, have been cited as a key selling point for the region according to MORI research carried out for EEDA.