‘I feel hugely positive we are addressing long-standing deprivation on the coast’
It’s been my first year in the driving seat as chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Economic Partnership, serving a ‘Rural Powerhouse’, with York city region and the Opportunity Coast.
There’s much to celebrate from the last year, not least the legacy of Barry Dodd, who did so much in his time as LEP chair and who we tragically lost earlier this year. I know that Barry would be incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved and would be full of optimism for the future of our patch.
Putting spades in the ground for Scarborough Bridge last week, alongside approval of a £35m loan for York Central, brings our Enterprise Zone into a new era. The future has never been closer, and the big challenge now is to be bold in seeking out that world class and transformative anchor tenant. Who will be York’s Channel 4?
We are incredibly proud to be business led and a great example is the A64 Growth Partnership. Businesses along the A64 have come together to make the case for investment and with considerable success. Detailed planning is underway and we are closing in on securing duelling of A64 towards Malton.
We set an ambitious strategic objective to double housebuilding and 2018 has been a good year as we exceeded our 5,000 new homes target. This is just the start and in both Skipton and Pocklington, flood alleviation schemes have launched this year which will open up future housing potential.
We know that market towns benefit significantly from their associated industrial sites and at Dalton, a relatively small investment of £1.8m of Local Growth Funds towards a £4m road and bridge, has alleviated access and flooding issues to the industrial site.
The bridge has completed this year, enabling upwards of £20m private sector investment, safeguarding and creating 300 jobs. Another similar investment example is Malton Agri-Business Park, where we saw the first units being built this year, fantastic for rural businesses and communities in the area.
Securing our future as a rural powerhouse is our initiative, Grow Yorkshire, a high profile industry collaboration to inspire change in business behaviour and innovate policy delivery to address changes in the £230m Common Agriculture Policy subsidy our region receives. Grow Yorkshire launches proper in early 2019.
Igniting innovation in our rural and urban economies is our commitment to bringing circular economy principles to life. In October, our circular economy workshop brought together 100 stakeholders from private and public sector organisations. With tangible excitement and enthusiasm from stakeholders for practicable commitments from across the
patch, we launch our low carbon and circular economy strategies early in 2019.
All across the region we have an incredible amount to celebrate in skills this year. With the announcement of a new careers hub and launch of a careers toolkit we foresee that our young people will be getting the best careers advice possible, aligning opportunity with business need.
It’s of huge personal and professional pride in our organisation, that we have a social inclusion priority. Making our commitment real is a £6.5m European funded investment in the Yorkshire Coast Community Led Local Development Programme, which got underway this year to support social inclusion and business growth in Scarborough and Bridlington.
I feel hugely positive that we are addressing longstanding deprivation on the coast.
All of our distinctive places will receive huge opportunity from the recent announcement of our combing forces with Leeds City Region LEP.
As a ‘super LEP’, our new organisation will bring greater influence on the national and international stage and put the region in a strong position to secure a significant share of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
We’re a people facing, people focused organisation. We’d like to close out the year with a huge thank you to all of our partners, stakeholders and the businesses we’ve worked with in 2018. We look forward to our continued working together and wish you all great things for 2019 and beyond.
SEA CHANGE: The LEP is overseeing opportunities along the coast.