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This is an exciting time for Warwickshire, as members of Warwickshire County Council have given their approval for the new Warwickshire’s Strategic Economic Plan at Cabinet on Wednesday 11 April.

This is a Warwickshire-wide strategy that sets out the purpose for Warwickshire to have an economy that is ambitious, inclusive and sustainable which will be achieved by working with a wide range of partners and focus on building a strong viable and resilient economy. 

Work is already underway to establish a delivery plan that will underpin and help achieve the key objectives in the SEP. 

Warwickshire’s Strategic Economic Plan highlights the work that the county and its partners are doing with three pillars that are key to developing an economy that is 

  • fit for the future
  • that will grow and create jobs for all of the county’s communities 
  • and will be sustainable and contribute to the county’s net zero carbon emission targets. 

The three pillars of the Strategic Economic Plan each have dedicated areas of focus which includes the actions that will be taken to create impact and the outcomes.  

The Ambitious Growth pillar encompasses supporting businesses with high growth potential to start or scale ie grow organically at a manageable rate and a future economic strategy will seek to increase the numbers of businesses accessing finance. It highlights how the county council will continue to foster research and development.  

The infrastructure of the transport system and digital connectivity and ensuring that land supply meets the needs of growth are key aspects. 

Talent – attracting and retaining it with high-quality employment – is integral to Warwickshire’s growth. There are plans to work with the Department for Business and Trade to investigate potential for exporting. 

The Inclusive Growth pillar will target support for employment and will look to work on the outstanding success of the Warwickshire Supported Employment Service, which has made such strides since its launch in engaging some of the county’s residents who have previously struggled to find employment with businesses. It will also bring together local partners such as the Growth Hub and the Chamber of Commerce and national partners including the Department for Work and Pensions. 

Raising aspirations in low output areas of the county and developing clear career pathways will be among the targeted support for employment, as the strategy seeks to level up opportunities across Warwickshire. Regeneration of priority areas and empowering communities will be key to achieving this. The strategy will seek to encourage enterprise in such areas as well as in under-represented groups such as women or minority ethnic backgrounds. 

The developing jobs market is another core focus of the county’s planning with schools and colleges being supported to develop career activity that is relevant for the needs of the future. 

Finally, Sustainable Growth, which will underpin businesses’ transition to net zero, makes up the third pillar. Supporting low Carbon tech businesses and encouraging new ones while ensuring there are the skills in the job market to make the transition is key to the plans for the strategy. Key partners will be assisted in decarbonising transport across the county. Businesses will be supported to reuse, recycle and reduce materials. Residents will be encouraged through various means across a range of council services to increase the use of active travel; businesses will be supported in a move to using sustainable freight. 

Councillor Martin Watson, portfolio holder for Economy at Warwickshire County Council, said: “This Strategic Economic plan is vital for the local economy, it sets out the ambition recognising the amazing assets and economy we already have in the county, and looking to continue to be a leading economy for the region and the UK for the next 10 years. It is important that this strategy reflects the work that is currently underway and the wide range of partners and stakeholders who also share an interest in the success of our economy. The plan has been created with the input of Warwickshire’s businesses and other stakeholders, to ensure the plan addresses local needs and supports our businesses and economy into the future.  

“The way we shaped our plan – talking to districts and boroughs, partner, businesses and taking their views on board - is testament to our commitment to working collaboratively. Together, we want our businesses to grow, our residents to have good jobs to improve their health and to ensure Warwickshire has a sustainable future.”  

Published: 11th April 2024

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