It has been a really exciting month for South West Norfolk with news of considerable investment in the local economy. RAF Marham will benefit from a £167 million pound investment in its world class facilities. The works programme will create 300 new jobs and provide the opportunity for local trades and workforce to get involved. I am also holding a skills summit at RAF Marham in September which will highlight the expertise required to support the Lightning II aircraft that will arrive at Marham in 2018.
There were high-vis jackets all round when I visited the exciting Thetford Riverside Development last month. Progress is now well underway for the new three screen cinema, hotel and five restaurants and shops, including a pizza restaurant and coffee shop. The dualling of the A11 has been highly successful in bringing more visitors and business to Thetford and I am sure this leisure development will attract even more.
The beautiful surroundings of the Brecks means we are spoilt for choice when it comes to experiencing our inspiring natural environment- but still too many children do not get the chance to encounter the great outdoors. As Secretary of State for the Environment I was delighted to announce a new Plan for National Parks which will help introduce a love of nature to every school child as they get the chance to visit our National Parks throughout their education. By celebrating these unique attractions, we will increase the diversity of visitors, improve national wellbeing and most importantly, protect our world-class landscapes and ensure they flourish in the years to come.
A nation of not only nature, but also animal lovers, and this month all dogs will need to be microchipped. This will improve dog welfare by assisting in reuniting stray or stolen dogs to their owners, and make it easier to track down owners of dogs that carry out attacks on people and other animals.