Plans to boost Essex economy are backed

A BLUEPRINT for economic growth, job creation and the promotion of Essex as a place where business can grow and flourish was backed by the county council today (Tuesday).

Cabinet members at Essex County Council voted to approve the Essex Economic Growth Strategy, which sets out the authority’s economic vision.

It also highlights how the council proposes to work with partners to ‘unlock growth now, secure jobs and earnings tomorrow, and create the conditions for long term economic growth and strengthen communities.

The objectives of the strategy include helping Essex business grow and develop to create more jobs for local people and to compete and trade in international markets; creating an improved integrated transport network to speed up journey times and reliability for both employees and deliveries; and ensuring local people have the skills to be able to take up the new job opportunities being created across the county.

County councillor Kevin Bentley, cabinet member for economic development, said: “Essex is renowned as a go-getting, entrepreneurial county and this spirit underpins this strategy for economic growth.

“Essex has so much to offer businesses in terms of location and transport links and we want to build on this to ensure that going forward we have the infrastructure and environment for businesses to start-up, grow and flourish.

“We also want to ensure there is a workforce with the skills they need to prosper, and that our residents are able to take advantage of all the new opportunities.”

Most Read

The evidence-based strategy names future growth areas as health and social care, renewable energy/low carbon technologies; transport ports and logistics; and advanced manufacturing and technology sectors. These are the areas the council plans to focus its attention on to attract investment under the plan.

Cllr Bentley added: “Ultimately we want to make Essex synonymous with growth and innovation. To help increase the number of jobs in Essex, raise the average earnings of our residents and therefore boost the local and national economies.

“Economic growth is a key priority for the ECC as well as national government and we will be discussing our plans and focus with them during the autumn.”

Potential ways of funding the priorities within the strategy, starting in 2013/14, will be discussed through the council’s budget setting process.