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East Midlands Chamber News

County Prosperity Plan Gets the Grow Ahead

Nottinghamshire Growth PlanHistorical figures with Nottinghamshire links, like Robin Hood, the Pilgrim Fathers and Oliver Cromwell can all help the county's modern day economy to grow.

The Nottinghamshire Growth Plan was approved by members of Nottinghamshire County Council's Policy Committee yesterday.

The plan - a comprehensive new blueprint for future economic prosperity in the county - includes plans to develop three major tourist attractions in north Nottinghamshire:

  • A major new visitor experience in Sherwood Forest, bringing the Robin Hood legend to life.
  • A new English Civil War centre in Newark.
  • A feasibility study into a new attraction based on the history of the Pilgrim Fathers in Bassetlaw.
  • The tourism plans are amongst almost 50 major proposals to support businesses, create training opportunities, improve infrastructure and bring jobs and growth to the area.

The Nottinghamshire Growth Plan has been written to complement the Nottingham City Plan and includes a number of joint initiatives, as well as projects to be led by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), other service providers and business organisations.

The plan covers three main themes - competitive business growth, connectivity and aspiration and talent. Included are proposals to:

  • Set up the Nottingham Investment Fund, a new multi-million pound pot to be targeted at businesses with significant growth potential.
  • Create a maximum of seven Business Investment Zones across the county which have the greatest potential for employment growth.
  • Promote opportunities for Nottinghamshire companies to export goods and services.
  • Create a Sporting Quarter along the River Trent, including Trent Bridge Cricket Ground, the City Ground, Meadow Lane, the National Water Sports Centre and Nottingham Racecourse.
  • Support specific business sectors including advanced manufacturing, food and drink, energy and farming.
  • Secure and enhance the vibrancy of the county's town centres and market towns.
  • Develop a masterplan to capitalise on opportunities created by the new HS2 station at Toton.
  • Develop new, improved links between businesses and schools and deliver the new Nottinghamshire Youth Employment Strategy.

Mick Burrows, Chief Executive at Nottinghamshire County Council who has led the development of the Growth Plan, said: "I have been blown away by the enthusiasm, ideas and commitment to growth shown by Nottinghamshire's business community. It bodes extremely well for the future economic prospects of the county.

"The views of the business community and other stakeholders have been integral to the development of the Growth Plan. Their ongoing participation in its delivery will be equally important; this is not a document that belongs to one organisation, council or firm, it's a plan for the whole of Nottinghamshire to get behind and the whole of Nottinghamshire to benefit from.

"The Government has indicated that funding will be devolved to areas to support local plans to develop the economy. With an ambitious Growth Plan in place we will be ahead of the game and ready to take Nottinghamshire forward."

The Growth Plan has been compiled thanks to the input of numerous businesses and other stakeholders from throughout the county, including Trevor Fletcher, MD and Chairman of The Hardstaff Group in Kingston-on-Soar and Nottinghamshire business representative on the D2N2 LEP.

Mr Fletcher said of the Growth Plan: "The Growth Plans shows how we can pull together to harness the economic potential of Nottinghamshire's business, people, assets and location.

"There is a great sense of confidence about our plan, and a real desire to kick start and drive forward economic growth across the county and city as a whole."

George Cowcher, Chief Executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “Following the Government's response to the Heseltine review, there is a clear desire, both centrally and locally, to give the regions more control of their own destinies and empower them to make their own decisions on the best ways to drive economic growth at a local level.

"The Nottinghamshire Growth Plan gives the county a solid starting point. It's an exciting and ambitious document which sets out in detail the opportunities for business growth that exist across the county, and, crucially, the best ways to take advantage.

"It brings together businesses, local authorities and support organisations like the Chamber and LEP to ensure that, as more funding and decision-making power is devolved from Whitehall, they are well placed to utilise it to the best effect to drive our economy forward."

Further information and about The Nottinghamshire Growth Plan is available on the
Nottinghamshire County Council website.