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Region's cities hailed in report

Cambridge from the air. Credit: ITV Anglia.

Norwich, Cambridge and Milton Keynes are amongst the country's most successful towns and cities according to a new report.

The Centre for Cities think tank say those areas are growing because they are attractive to knowledge based businesses and have a high number of knowledge based jobs.

It also warns that without government investment in things such as housing and transport, that growth could be stifled.

Tourism campaign begins to promote 'Cambridgeshire'

King's College, Cambridge Credit: ITV News Anglia

A new way of promoting the county of Cambridgeshire as a tourist destination officially starts today.

Called 'Visit Cambridge and Beyond' it aims to encourage people to look further than just the city for days out.

Corpus Christi college, Cambridge Credit: ITV News Anglia

More than five million tourists visit Cambridge each year which is worth £583 million to the city's economy. It accounts for 17 per cent of local employment.

86 per cent of people visiting Cambridge usually on come on day trips. The idea is to encourage people to stay longer and look further than just the city.

Important milestone for Chelmsford's new development

View of how the new development in Chelmsford will look Credit: ITV News Anglia

Work on a multi million pound new shopping centre in Chelmsford will reach an important milestone this morning. The last roof beam will be hoisted into place at the Bond Street development.

It's due to open this autumn with shops, a cinema multiplex, an underground carpark and restaurants.

Local school children will be there for the topping out ceremony today.

Artist impression of Chelmsford Credit: ITV News Anglia

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Contractor appointed for Luton's Marsh Farm development

Flats at Marsh Farm, 2014 Credit: ITV News Anglia

A contractor has been appointed to work on Luton's Marsh farm development.

Housing and Construction company Keepmoat has officially started work on the £28 million regeneration scheme which will completely transform and improve the Marsh Farm area of Luton.

The development will see new modern housing and shops.

Luton Borough Council appointed the contractor to deliver the regeneration scheme over the next three years.

The first phase will see the new seven new shops built on the former Purway Close site with 24 apartments above.

"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time so it's really exciting to know our contractors are now on site and set to deliver major improvements to the Marsh Farm area. This scheme is set to make a real positive difference to the area, with high quality homes and shops bringing long-term social and economic benefits for local people."

– Cllr Tom Shaw, Portfolio Holder for housing

Unemployment figures continue to fall

Three years ago the region's unemployment figure stood at six per cent. Credit: PA.

Unemployment is continuing to fall across the region, according to the latest figures.

It is down by 14,000 in the East of England with just four per cent of the workforce - 119,000 people - not in a job.

It is the lowest of anywhere in the country outside the South East.

RAF Mildenhall, Barnham, Alconbury and Molesworth to be sold to generate land for new housing

RAF Mildenhall is one of four bases to be sold. Credit: ITV News Anglia

RAF Mildenhall and Barnham in Suffolk and Alconbury and Molesworth in Cambridgeshire will be sold off by the Ministry of Defence to generate land for new homes.

The four bases are 12 sites around the country which will be sold by the government.

The disposal, which will generate £500 million, will provide the land for around 15,000 new homes, as part of the government’s ambition to build 160,000 by 2020.

Income from the sales will be put back into the Ministry of Defence.

In Suffolk, the local council though wants to see commercial development and jobs created as well as new housing.

By streamlining the Defence estate, we will ensure that it better meets the needs of the Armed Forces well into the future. Defence has the strongest incentive to become more efficient; with every pound we make by disposing of excess land reinvested into a defence budget that keeps Britain safe.

We are also making an important contribution of 55,000 homes to the wider government housing targets. Every acre that we can free up will ensure that more people have the opportunity to own their own home.

– Defence Minister Mark Lancaster
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