Are our young people planning to stay or move away from region?

Aerial view of Norwich Cathedral located in Norwich, Norfolk, UK

Aerial view of Norwich Cathedral located in Norwich, Norfolk, UK - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We recently ran a survey to find out whether the region's young people plan to stay or move away from the areas they grew up in.  

Scores of 12–25-year-olds took the time to answer a few questions about what they think works well and what they believe doesn’t work with regards to living in Norfolk. 

More than 73pc of the young people that responded were born in Norfolk. And 65.1pc have already moved away.  

A view of promenade, town centrem, and pier, Cromer, seaside town in Norfolk, England

Since Victorian times people have moved to the coast for long periods to convalesce or even retire - but now more are looking to it as a location where they can improve their quality of life - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The majority of young people that moved away said they had relocated to London for learning and employment opportunities.  

Over half of these have said they intend it to be permanent. The main reason for people moving was 'larger or better job opportunities', with other reasons given being housing cost and availability.  


You may also want to watch:


Young people opting to stay have said it’s to remain close to family and because of Norfolk's beautiful landscapes.   

Norfolk Broads

The tranquil Broads - Credit: Getty Images

We spoke to some of the young people that responded in more detail. 

Most Read

Nicole Watts, 26, who now lives in Cambridgeshire, said "I moved out of Norfolk in 2013 to go to university. I graduated back in 2016 and couldn't find a job in my area of expertise around Norfolk so moved to Luton to work in travel. 

Nicole Watts Moving Away

Nicole Watts gives her views on young people moving away from Norfolk. - Credit: Nicole Watts

"There are plenty of jobs within Norfolk, but often these are minimum wage paying roles and not necessarily many roles available for the wide range of skills and areas people are involved in.

"On top of this, although there has definitely been progress within recent years, transport to the likes of London for days out etc are still very slow and expensive, whereas other areas have big cities close.

Sand dunes where Norfolk Coast path National Trail from Barnham Overy Staithe reaches the sea, East

Sand dunes where the Norfolk Coast path National Trail from Barnham Overy Staithe reaches the sea - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

"I'd like to move back to Norfolk further down the line as all my family are still there, however I know I would miss access to travel, theatre and shopping which for someone young is vital to their growth and development." 

Sophie Buckenham is 19 years old and left Norfolk around two years ago to attend a performing arts college based in London. She hopes to remain in London to go on to perform professionally after her training is complete.  

Sophie Buckenham affordable training

Sophie Buckenham hopes that more affordable performance training with present itself in Norfolk - Credit: Sophie Buckenham

"I feel young people living in Norfolk are missing the opportunity to access affordable training in performing arts," she said.

Sophie Buckenham moving to london

Sophie Buckenham from Norfolk shares why she moved away. - Credit: Sophie Buckenham

"Performing arts is a great way for young people to express themselves and I feel it would be beneficial for all young people to be given the opportunity to try it despite their financial situation." 

Sophie Buckenham affordable training

Sophie Buckenham hopes that more affordable performance training with present itself in Norfolk - Credit: Sophie Buckenham

Mark Woodrow, 24, left Norwich in 2015 to study at university. He said: "The sector I work in is mostly concentrated in London, which means that I could not return to Norfolk if I wanted to start on my chosen career path. After three years of employment, I have no plans to return to Norfolk in the near future." 

Mark Woodrow shares why chose to leave Norfolk and stay away. 

Mark Woodrow shares why he chose to leave Norfolk and stay away. - Credit: Mark Woodrow

 
"Norfolk is a great place to grow up but I believe that the job opportunities for young people are fairly limited: it is often easier to travel elsewhere to give your career an early boost." 

Tiger-Lily, 16, from Great Yarmouth, thinks she will stay in Norfolk because it is where her family are and she is very close to them. “I think there are many things to do in Norfolk for young people, but there could be more during the winter.

Tiger-Lily Thorogood-Wilcox staying in Norfolk

Tiger-Lily Thorogood-Wilcox plans to stay in Norfolk for the continued support of her family. - Credit: Emma Thorogood-Wilcox

“I gain a lot of emotional support from being around my family, but due to underlying anxiety I miss out on social experiences due to a lack of outside support.” 

She is of the opinion that good mental health services in Norfolk are seriously lacking and added: “I am hopeful that improvements will be made to mental health services for the sake of other young people in the future.” 

Though our young people have mixed views. Over 72pc have said they think Norfolk is a good place to grow up as a young person.  

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter