Agenda item

North Yorkshire Economic Growth Strategy


Considered – Report of Dave Caulfield, Assistant Director – Economic Development, Regeneration, Tourism and Skills to present the second draft of the North Yorkshire Economic Growth Strategy.


Some of the key points highlighted in the report are as summarised as below:


·       It has been important to listen to key stakeholders and engage with the public in developing the new Economic Growth strategy. This has included gathering feedback through consultation events such as sector workshops, local discussions, virtual sessions and member engagement through workshops. This has produced a strategy document that is ambitious and informed by the comments that have been received.


·       Officers are conscious that the ambitions set out in the strategy cannot be delivered by the Council on its own, it will require lots of partnership working to achieve its objectives. The final strategy also has to interact with other key NYC documents, such as the Local Plan, Local Transport Plan and the Destination Management Plan.


·       The relationship with the LEP and MCA when formed is key, with joint work already taking place on an emerging Economic Framework for the new Combined Authority.


·       The main changes from the first draft of the strategy has been including a higher level of ambition and greater emphasis on the Council’s role and stronger reference to specific and distinct place opportunities.


·       The three pillars of the strategic framework are Enterprise (Support for businesses), Infrastructure (Places) and People (Skills).


·       Significant work will take place following approval of the strategy on local-level action plans, which will take account of the views of the Area Constituency Committees and Community Networks to develop local detail and priorities. These local-level action plans will be SMART and progress updates can be brought to members on a regular basis.


·       It will be important to develop a robust project pipeline to submit when external funding streams become available and improve the performance of the county in successfully levering in this funding.


·       The strategy will run for five years, with reviews to take place annually.


Following this, questions and comments raised by the committee included:


·       It was pleasing to see the commitment to Area Constituency Committees and Community Networks as part of the ongoing dialogue on the local level action planning to follow on from the development of this strategy.


·       To what extent can the skills gaps identified be filled by working with local partners in the county and neighbouring areas to find solutions. For example, a recent Local Skills Improvement Plan developed by West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has already produced an evidence based strategy to set out an understanding of local circumstances, needs and aspirations for skills development across the business community.



·       A business directory was suggested to make securing a local supplier easier.


·       Given the external influences that the strategy will depend on, it will be important to set any performance indicators in that context.


·       Where the Council can lead on parts of the strategy, it should do sharply and quickly to bring forward solutions. In response, an example was given of developing small business space within North Yorkshire and the Council leading quickly on making this happen.


·       Transport infrastructure and delivery will be crucial to the delivery of the strategy, as it is a big concern, particularly in rural areas.


·       The importance of the Harrogate Convention Centre as a key economic asset for the local economy was stressed.


·       The resources required to deliver the strategy was questioned. In response, it was felt that if external funding can be unlocked, then this will help to increase staff capacity to achieve more for North Yorkshire.



·       It was noted that the smaller market towns play an equally important part in people’s lives and the local economy and should be recognised. 


Resolved –


i)          That the report be noted

ii)        That the Members feedback received be taken into account in the final draft of the strategy

Supporting documents: