Helping the county’s economy on the road to recovery
At its next meeting (27 January), the county council’s cabinet will be asked to approve Gloucestershire’s plan for the economic recovery of the county.
It is no surprise that COVID-19 has had a significant economic impact across the whole country.
Although the full impact of the pandemic is yet to be fully understood, the council, along with its partners, are working closely to monitor the effect COVID-19 has had on the county’s economy and have developed a plan for how they can support the county’s recovery, ensuring that residents and businesses are supported and Gloucestershire continues to thrive.
Businesses, residents and communities are at the heart of the recovery plan and the actions laid out in the plan focus on three key priorities. These are:
- People, place and connectivity – resetting how our communities interact with business and education, ensuring people have access to digital technology, broadband and providing communities with the facilities that support new ways of working
- Skills and employment – encouraging resilience through skills and employment, providing job opportunities through infrastructure projects, working with businesses and investors to drive growth in cyber, tech, manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors and encourage greater collaboration between partners to fulfil skills needs through apprenticeship and training opportunities
- Infrastructure, economy and growth – accelerating infrastructure to promote sustainable development and growth, encouraging residents to shop locally and investing in innovative sustainable transport schemes
The county council has provided funding to GFirst LEP to set up a skills portal and will also be working with partners to support businesses and distribute government funds for the tourism sector.
It will also be funding the roll-out of the award-winning Innovation Labs across the county following the success of the one in Coleford Library. Each district will have its own lab to allow people of all ages to access digital training, provide a centre for local businesses to access latest information and use 3D printers and scanners, and run courses to help people get back to work.
Cllr Patrick Molyneux, cabinet member for economy, education and skills, said: “COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the economy across the UK. We are determined to rebuild Gloucestershire’s economy by working with businesses, residents and communities to create a county where they can thrive.
“While unemployment in Gloucestershire has risen sharply over the last year there are still opportunities in the county and these will increase as the recovery gathers pace. Through this plan we’ll give those residents the best possible chance of getting back into work as well as opening up routes for our young people to gain the skills to get their first jobs and build careers in Gloucestershire.”
The plan will be discussed at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday 27 January. You can read the full report here.