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Investing in East Anglia’s transport


insurance jobs across East Anglia


worth of economic value created for the region


invested in East Anglia’s rail network

East Anglia is best known for agriculture and tourism, but it should also be known for insurance, which lies at the heart of the regional economy. ABI members operating in East Anglia include Aviva, NFU Mutual, Ecclesiastical and Direct Line Group, providing more than 12,000 jobs to the region and contributing £1 billion to the local economy.

Aviva, based in Norwich, is the biggest private sector employer in East Anglia. Its presence brings huge benefits to the economy of Norwich and the wider region:

Spotlight on Aviva, the largest private-sector employer:

Better public transport for the region. 

Aviva helped finance an injection of more than £600m into East Anglia’s rail network, radically improving its performance.

Helping local businesses. 

Aviva has taken an active role in the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Norfolk Chamber of Commerce to boost growth and enterprise in the region.

Supporting skilled jobs and career progression. 

Aviva employs around 5,000 people in Norwich – nearly a third of the firm’s total workforce. It has an oversubscribed graduate recruitment programme and offers ever-increasing numbers of apprenticeships to local people

A cutting-edge industry. 

With a highly developed web-based platform, providing personalised pricing on an array of complex issues, Aviva is at the forefront of technological change designed to benefit consumers and businesses alike.

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Better public transport for the region 

Like many rural areas in Britain, public transport in East Anglia has needed improvement for some time. As part of a consortium, Aviva helped finance the deal which raised more than £600m in funds to acquire 58 new trains to replace the existing fleet on the East Anglia Network. 

The new trains will operate on three routes on the East Anglia Network: (a) Intercity services between London and Norwich, which will cut the journey to just 90 minutes; (b) Stansted Express airport services; and (c) the general regional network in East Anglia. This new investment will make Norwich and East Anglia better connected and a more attractive place for businesses. Not only will rail links be improved but the potential knock-on reduction in pressure on roads will help too. 

Helping local business

Lindsey Rix, a senior Aviva executive based in Norwich, has played a leading role in the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership since she joined Aviva at the end of 2015. The LEP exists to boost growth and enterprise in the region, providing funding, advice and support to growing businesses and funding local infrastructure projects.

Lindsey says: 

“Our involvement in the regional LEP has been mutually beneficial for Aviva and the local economy. As a major East Anglian employer, it helps if there is a thriving regional network of businesses to work with and highly skilled staff - and it also helps if the right decisions on infrastructure are made too. From our side, Aviva is able to provide the sort of insight that very large businesses can in areas like finance, tech and business and employee development. It continues to be a fruitful partnership.”

Lindsey chairs the investment appraisals committee which invests the £290m awarded to the LEP by the Government as part of its Growth Deal. To date this has included funding for road and transport projects, new skills and training facilities and state-of-the-art business centres.  Lindsey also sits on the innovation and productivity board which aims to create 95,000 new jobs in the region by 2026. Under Lindsey’s direction, Aviva has hosted a series of tech hub events at its Norwich HQ and has run tech training seminars for local businesses.


new trains for the region


new jobs created in the region by 2026

Supporting skilled jobs and career progression

From photocopying to leadership: by Simon Corke, Head of Learning, Aviva

“I have been able to enjoy the sort of career progression in Aviva’s Norwich office that people might only expect to see in the biggest offices of the biggest firms in London. And unlike many of my peers, I have done this after joining the firm at 16, straight after leaving school.

My first job at Aviva (Norwich Union as it was) – as an enthusiastic but inexperienced young man - was photocopying and running errands. With help, I started to organise training courses and soon began delivering induction courses to new entrants as a way of developing more confidence.

Things developed: I took the opportunity to deliver training to staff on presentation and appraisal skills and the company sponsored me to complete a Diploma in Management. I progressed to managing teams of trainers aligned to our Retail business and, in time, took the opportunity to move into the wider Human Resources function. Following a couple of years in this role I moved into the Head of Learning role.

I’ve learned you can really progress in a large company in this industry if you’re willing to work hard and take the opportunities when they arise. Insurance has been a great career option for me and I would recommend it to anyone starting out.”

A cutting edge industry

Aviva’s Norwich base is a site for cutting edge innovation in the insurance and long-term savings industry. Aviva recently opened a new ‘complex claims’ settlement centre in the city, employing 500 people in what is a demanding, highly skilled environment. While the biggest modern firms like Aviva perform some of the same functions they always did – like providing home, travel and business insurance - the services provided by insurers have adapted to changes in the economy and society. Insurers are pioneering innovation, increasingly providing services online where highly advanced technology helps to provide accurate and personalised pricing on a range of products, payment services, and renewal reminders – and developing new products to keep ahead of emerging technologies such as drones.

ABI members operating in East Anglia and Essex include:

  • Aviva
  • AXA
  • CNA Insurance Company Limited
  • Ecclesiastical
  • DLG
  • Hiscox
  • QBE
  • NFU Mutual
  • New India Assurance Company Limited

If you have any questions please contact publicaffairsteam@abi.org.uk or +44 (0) 207 600 3333
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