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CHANCELLOR LAUNCHES NEW GROWTH STRATEGY FOR ST HELENS

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Chancellor Gordon Brown has launched a City Growth Strategy for St Helens ...
Chancellor Gordon Brown has launched a City Growth Strategy for St Helens

signalling a new way of prosperity and progress.

St Helens along with London, Plymouth and Nottingham was chosen to pilot

the City Growth project, which is based on a US model of regeneration that

places enterprise and business success at the heart of long-term

regeneration, focussing on the economic potential and competitive advantage

of inner city or urban areas.

Chairman of the St Helens strategy group - local business leader Andrew

Smith - welcomed the national launch and the boost it will deliver to the

people and businesses of St Helens: 'Our new strategy for growth focuses on

fostering an entrepreneurial culture in the borough', says Mr Smith. 'It will

realign employment and training needs towards those sectors with the best

long term growth prospects, helping us to improve the physical appearance

of St Helens, and it will raise its profile and improve its image. It's a

major step forward and we look forward to the benefits it will bring to the

Borough. It's good for business, it's good for St Helens and it's good for

the wider community.'

City Growth board member Andy Bowden, the council's

executive member for urban regeneration: 'This strategy will really see us

unlock our potential. It will mean new jobs, new opportunities and a better

quality of life for the people of St Helens. It will build on some

excellent work that is already underway but will also outline the new areas

for growth and development that will secure our long term prosperity.'

The City Growth Strategy for St Helens has been developed following a major

programme of research and extensive consultation with local communities and

businesses. There are four key areas for action that include

'transformations' of the business base, the physical aspects of the Borough

and culture and perceptions of the area.

The Strategy has been developed by a bus iness led partnership from

St.Helens, St Helens Council and St Helens Chamber, supported by the Small

Business Service and the Northwest Development Agency. Although there is

no money attached to City Growth it is the strategy itself, which will

unlock the investment potential by spotlighting the 'wow' factor that

St.Helens offers.

Council leader Marie Rimmer said: 'The chancellor was very enthusiastic

about the outcome of the City Growth pilot programme. The whole event was

very aspirational and upbeat and the presentation from St Helens was

extremely well received and the quality and depth of our strategy received

particular comment. St Helens really took centre stage at this very high

profile national event and we grasped every opportunity to showcase our

town and the City Growth Strategy which will serve as the catalyst for a

massive injection of jobs and investment.'

(See attached file: P1 pic.jpg) Gordon Brown with the Leader of St. Helens

Council Marie Rimmer

More pics are available from 01744 456166

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