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Industrial Strategy’s vision for future economy welcomed by D2N2

The launch of the Government’s new Industrial Strategy today (November 27) has been welcomed by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – which sees many of its own current activities and ambitions reflected in the major publication.

Greg Clarkson

A ‘green paper’ consultation on the way ahead for the UK economy, pre- and post-Brexit, was launched last January (2017).

As part of this, in April, the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership also surveyed businesses and others in its area (of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire) on which key issues they thought the Strategy should address. Their views were submitted by the LEP to the Government consultation.

Today’s Industrial Strategy reflects key commercial sectors and ambitions already being promoted by the D2N2 LEP and its ambitions.

Greg Clark MP - Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (PICTURED above at a 2014 event with D2N2 Chair Peter Richardson) - says in the introduction to the Strategy that it identifies 'five foundations' to strengthen productivity. These foundations are:

Strategy Foundation: IDEAS – To build the world’s most innovative economy.
What D2N2 is doing on this: Funding via D2N2’s €250million in European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), funding received via the EU, is already being used to aid businesses’ (especially SMEs’) access to technical support in its area. For example, D2N2 and area universities launched the £20.3m Enabling Innovation Fund programme in May 2016; which will aim to help more than 2,000 SMEs access universities’ technical knowledge and expertise to invest in research and innovation, and develop new products.

Strategy Foundation: PEOPLE – Good jobs and greater earning power for all.
What D2N2 is doing on this: The LEP invests heavily in skills and training across its area. It invested £3.48m in the new £6.9m University of Derby Chesterfield campus; which opened in October 2016, to provide chiefly vocational courses for adult learners in the area. D2N2 also invested £2.5m in the £6.5m Vision University Centre at Mansfield’s West Notts College (opened autumn 2016), to enable further provision of higher and further education courses. This investment in learning facilities is in addition to ESIF funding used to promote skills and training courses, particularly for people who have been unemployed long term.

Strategy Foundation: INFRASTRUCTURE – A major upgrade to the UK’s infrastructure.
What D2N2 is doing on this: D2N2 has been allocated £250million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF) – money given to LEPs to invest in infrastructure which directly aids economic growth in their areas – which is helping deliver 51 projects across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, to date. Major projects backed include £6.5m from D2N2 for the new £30m BioCity Discovery life sciences building in Nottingham, which it’s estimated will create around 700 jobs over 30 years and safeguard a further 250.

Strategy Foundation: BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT – The best place to start and grow a business.
What D2N2 is doing on this: More than 6,000 small and medium-sized businesses have engaged with the D2N2 Growth Hub, since it was launched three years ago. Its advisers work with businesses – from start-ups to established companies – to help them access growth finance, explore new market and export opportunities, develop new products, or assist with management training or expansion planning. A survey in March (2017) of 200 former Growth Hub business clients found 88% (176) would recommend its services to another company and 73% (146) rated the service they’d received as ’good’ or ‘excellent’.

Strategy Foundation: PLACES – Creating prosperous communities across the UK.
What D2N2 is doing on this: It is a founding principle of the D2N2 LEP that the economic and jobs growth it promotes through its activities should benefit ALL communities living and working in its area. This means help for those who’ve been unemployed long term, or who are facing social or financial exclusion. One of D2N2’s major programmes is the £15m Building Better Opportunities (BBO) Fund, co-funded by D2N2’s ESIF allocation and the Big Lottery Fund. For more details CLICK HERE
Run by charities and social enterprises – under the collective title, The People First consortium – BBO includes:
*Money Sorted in D2N2 - A £3m project combatting financial exclusion, helping unemployed people in financial difficulties, and advising them on how to more effectively deal with money issues and ensure they access the financial help and benefits they are entitled to. It is run by Advice Nottingham. Website: http://moneysortedind2n2.org/

*Towards Work – A £7.4m project primarily supporting people aged 40-plus, 18 to 24-year-olds, and women returning to work or who have never worked back into employment and economic activity. It helps people tackle potential work barriers such as a lack of transport, having a disability, living in an isolated area, or having few skills. It is managed by Groundwork Greater Nottingham, leading 23 organisations across the D2N2 LEP area. Website: www.groundwork.org.uk/Sites/nottingham/pages/towards-work-building-better-opportunities

*Opportunity and Change: A pathway to work – A £4.6m project to help people with multiple and complex needs get into work, training, further education or volunteering. Led by Nottingham-based charity Framework; which works with homeless, vulnerable and excluded people. Website: www.opportunityandchange.org

The Government Industrial Strategy also sees an enhanced role for the 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships, including D2N2, across England. The document says Government remains “firmly committed to Local Enterprise Partnerships” and from 2018 the Prime Minister will chair a bi-annual ‘Council of Local Enterprise Partnership Chairs’, providing an opportunity for Local Enterprise Partnership leaders to inform national policy decisions.

The Strategy also mentions:

“Enhancement of Local Enterprise Partnerships and the introduction of Local Industrial Strategies will further strengthen the capabilities of communities to identify their infrastructure needs.”

“(Government to).. work with Local Enterprise Partnerships, Growth Hubs, universities and the private sector to support high potential businesses to scale up.” (A 'ScaleUp Service' is already run via the D2N2 Growth Hub for high growth businesses in its area).

Peter Richardson, Chair of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is good to see that many of the ambitions expressed in the Industrial Strategy reflect things our area is already doing and that the consultation has listened to calls from business, particularly around the need for more local control of economic strategy.

“As a strong economic area and wider region, there will be a major role for us to play in helping deliver on the aspirations set out in the Industrial Strategy published today.”

Read the Government’s Industrial Strategy


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