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Driving growth

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Barking & Dagenham LBC

Driving London’s Next Growth Opportunity – With No-One Left Behind

Barking & Dagenham is a deprived area but only 20 minutes from the thriving City of London. The council set up an independent growth commission and the Ambition 2020 programme, which led to a radical reshaping of the council based on the commission’s findings. Results have been outstanding, with a wholly owned, arms-length growth and regeneration company established, chaired by Lord Kerslake, and an agreed plan to triple annual housing development by 2021. The council has led land assembly and procurement for London’s largest film and TV studio and launched a second housing zone scheme of 3,000 units. It is London’s top performer for replacing sold council homes.


Barnsley MBC

Stimulating Property Development

The town must offer a significantly improved range and quantity of premises to be competitive for investment. It had to bring forward serviced employment land but to close its jobs and business deficit a step change in availability of land and property was required in the face of market failure, with developers operating on a low-risk basis. The council launched a property investment fund in 2014 to provide flexible interventions and develop sites stalled by viability issues, and it has created an additional 21,000 sq m of commercial property and 298 jobs. Barnsley hopes to allocate up to 300 ha of new employment land in its local plan.


Blackburn with Darwen BC

Driving Growth with Capita

The council created the HIVE business leaders’ network to better engage with the private sector, understand its challenges and opportunities and shape council policy to drive economic growth. HIVE priorities include advanced manufacturing, procurement and a business school, which links members with schools. Business leaders play a significant role in the Blackburn Improvement District, Darwen Town Centre Partnership and Growth Lancashire, a specialist council-owned business support organisation. The 2015 local plan sets out the strategic employment and housing sites that will further accelerate growth, create jobs, attract and retain a skilled labour force. Some 3,500 new homes are to be built in the next five years.


Central Bedfordshire

Driving Growth in Central Bedfordshire

The emerging local plan targets up to 30,000 new homes by 2035 and 30,000 new jobs including new employment sites strategically sited near the A1 and M1. Central Bedfordshire is a champion of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, which passes through its area and is intended as a growth corridor, and seeks to increase business rates income from £32m to just under £43m in five years. It sped up the planning process for an 74,000 sq m fulfilment centre for retailer Amazon, creating more than 3,000 jobs and has partnered Cranfield University on a multimillion-pound investment in academic and research facilities.


Hull City Council

The Hull Approach

Hull’s plan is built around exploiting opportunities for growth from the city’s port, home to Green Port Hull, a £310m investment from Siemens and Associated British Ports; the growing renewables manufacturing industry; and creative and digital industries. It is also, building on its year as City of Culture in 2017, positioning itself as a world-class visitor destination with unique heritage. Council services have been joined up to support businesses from pre-start-ups to multinational corporations, with officers acting as direct points of contact. Employment is the highest on record, with 117,600 people (68.5%) in work, some 13,000 more than eight years ago.


Middlesbrough BC

Middlesbrough Investment Prospectus

Middlesbrough is undergoing an unprecedented surge in economic growth and investment, exploiting its position as a midpoint between Leeds and Newcastle. Helped by the council, major private sector-led investments are already bringing change to the town’s ambition and aspiration. The Middlesbrough Investment Prospectus 2017 commits more than £74m of direct council support to attract city-scale investment, diversify the town centre economy with more commercial, leisure and catering and generate significant income through housebuilding and business creation. Recent investments include £350m in all by the local university and college, an £8m research facility for the Welding Institute and £20m for the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.


Rochdale MBC

Space To Grow

To support its growth strategy, Rochdale has restructured so all council services for growth are provided through one team. Space to Grow has led to increased in private sector investment, with 1,270 new jobs; 133,590 sq m of new-build employment space and £134m of new private sector investment. During 2016-17, Rochdale saw 28 local businesses helped to expand or relocate, 470 new jobs, 39,000 sq m of new employment floorspace and £1.4m of business rates growth. The 185,000 sq m Kingsway Business Park was completed, employing 4,000 people.


Sunderland City Council

Driving Growth

The driving force behind growth is council’s business investment team, which has a track record in securing transformative investment – from the arrival and growth of Nissan through to a burgeoning financial services sector and rapidly growing cluster of software firms. In the past five years, Sunderland has secured 8,600 jobs and £1.1bn of investment from companies locating or expanding in the city, of which £1bn was inward investment from overseas. Sunderland is home to 87 internationally owned businesses originating from 21 countries and has a nationally significant International Advanced Manufacturing Park. The city has a £1.3bn of public and private investment planned.


Tameside MBC

Driving Growth

The keys to economic growth in Tameside are improved skills and health, which are championed by the Tameside Prosperous Board, a business-led body that brings together leaders from manufacturing, digital, property and construction, education and the health and voluntary sectors. Vision Tameside is meanwhile improving chances for young people, with construction of three advanced learning centres, with state-of-the-art learning facilities for robotics, manufacturing and design. Co-located with these centres will be a Joint Public Service Centre for the council, clinical commissioning group and other public services. The council is also constructing digital infrastructure and a major transport interchange.



Neil McInroy, chief executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies

Paul Najsarek, chief executive, Ealing LBC

Neil Taylor, chief executive, Bassetlaw DC




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