Dorset makes plans for ‘sustainable growth’ of local economy

DORSET Council has outlined its vision for the county’s economy and how it plans to work with partners, communities and businesses to deliver sustainable growth.

One of the priorities in the Dorset Council Plan 2020-2024 is to “deliver sustainable economic growth, increasing productivity and the number of high-quality jobs in Dorset, creating great places to live, work and visit”.

The Economic Growth Strategy explains how the council will seek to deliver this priority and will be accompanied in due course by a detailed action plan.

The Executive Advisory Panel for Economic Growth – made up of elected members from across the political divide – has overseen the development of the draft strategy, considering a broad range of evidence, national and local policy reviews, and a programme of business engagement.

The panel has also considered the implications of COVID-19 and the Climate and Ecological Emergency declared by the council.

The strategy sets out Dorset Council’s ambitions to enable clean, inclusive, sustainable and good quality economic growth across the whole council area, and thereby bring improved standards of living, quality of life, health, and wellbeing for all of Dorset’s residents, ensuring we have great places to live, work and visit.

This strategy presents the councils priorities to:

  • Enhance Dorset as a place to do business and attract inward investment
  • Support the creation and growth of new sustainable business and in turn support high quality job creation
  • Improve transport and digital connectivity across the area
  • Enhance aspirations and skills to improve social mobility

The strategy is structured around six foundations for sustainable and inclusive economic growth:

  • Digital infrastructure
  • People and skills
  • Business environment
  • Innovation/ideas
  • Place
  • Transport infrastructure

Following approval of the draft strategy, a detailed action plan will be developed to implement the strategy.  This will be subject to regular review as the full implications of COVID-19 become apparent, and new policy and interventions are introduced related to the pandemic, Brexit and other significant events.

Cllr Gary Suttle, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Economic Growth and Skills, said: “Even before the pandemic hit, we had been working hard to develop a strategy that will inform our plans to deliver sustainable economic growth.  This includes a focus on inclusive growth to ensure that all Dorset communities benefit from an overall increase in prosperity and opportunity.

“Dorset Council will not achieve the ambitions of the strategy by itself and will need the support and collaboration of a broad range of national and local partners, including the voluntary and community sectors. I look forward to working closely with these vital groups to help develop our action plan.

“A prosperous and inclusive local economy is vital to achieving the strategic priorities of the Council, and this strategy will provide the foundation for an exciting action plan that will demonstrate our commitment and ambition.

“In the current financial climate, this work is more vital than ever to ensure Dorset’s economy not only bounces back, but that it can become stronger than ever before.”

Woodmead Halls
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