Date issued: 12 November 2019
Ensuring residents across North Essex can enjoy and take advantage of the benefits brought by economic growth brings is at the heart of a new strategy to be discussed by councillors over the next few weeks.
The North Essex Economic Strategy, covering Braintree, Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford, aims to ensure the area can rise to the economic challenges and opportunities we face.
Spanning 2020 to 2040, the ambitious strategy produced by the North Essex Economic Board – a partnership of the four councils with Essex County Council – is the first bespoke economic strategy covering North Essex.
Stretching from Stansted Airport and the M11 in the west, via Braintree and Colchester to Clacton and Harwich International Port in the east, North Essex is a diverse and outward-facing economy.
The plan takes account of the predicted population growth across North Essex and the changes in industries and companies starting up, growing and relocating across the area.
In the 20 years to 2018 the North Essex population grew by almost 20% to 580,000. Between 2018 and 2045 it is estimated this will have increased by around 139,000.
With the growing importance and need to build a greener more sustainable economy, the strategy looks to address the change in the skills, infrastructure and technologies needed to support them.
The strategy looks to build on North Essex’s location and its connections locally, regionally and internationally, but also the current skill base and community networks across the area.
By 2040 the strategy aims to have delivered its vision of “North Essex as a high-value, productive and sustainable economy. People choose to live and work locally, in new established communities that are well connected and inspire innovation and creativity.”
Over the next few weeks the strategy will be discussed at cabinet and full council meetings at the five councils. If agreed, an action plan will be developed to help deliver the vision. The strategy will also be fed into the Local Industrial Strategy being developed by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Councillor David King, Colchester Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Business and Resources, said: “Colchester and the rest of North Essex is a key area for economic growth, but to realise the benefits we must all work together to ensure we are fully able to rise to the challenges and opportunities, to bring prosperity and good jobs to our residents.
“We all have a shared ambition to promote, plan and deliver sustainable strategic growth at scale over the long-term while providing the housing, jobs and infrastructure needed to ensure the best outcomes for North Essex now and for future generations.
“The Board have developed a strong and bold vision for North Essex for the next 20 years and beyond. If agreed, this strategy is designed to drive innovation and technology adoption, up-skill our local workforce, create a network of distinctive, cohesive communities and make our economy greener and more sustainable.”
The North Essex Economic Strategy will be discussed at Colchester Borough Council’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 20 November. It will also be discussed at the other councils’ cabinet or Full Council meetings in the coming weeks.
A copy of the draft strategy can be found here