Greener, Fairer, Stronger: A vision for economic recovery

22 June 2020

A vision for economic recovery in York and North Yorkshire has been launched.

The York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership is highlighting the vision behind an economic recovery plan, with six areas of focus to tackle the economic impact of Covid-19. Called Greener, Fairer, Stronger, the comprehensive, regional economic recovery plan will shape the policy and future funding decisions for the York & North Yorkshire area and help stimulate the economy as the region emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic. This follows LEP analysis which forecasted a 13% reduction in the local economy due to Covid-19, 20,000 job losses in tourism and a 40% drop in the value of the sector this year.

The six areas of focus for Greener, Fairer, Stronger are:

  • Support businesses to survive Covid-19 and thrive through resilience and innovation, delivering a greener, fairer, stronger economy.
  • Help people into back into employment, to maintain or improve their quality of life.
  • Rapidly reconfigure skills delivery to respond to changing demand and new ways of learning.
  • Rejuvenate public spaces and town centres as places that work better, making them safe, greener and fairer for those who live work and visit in them.
  • Bring an end to digital disadvantage, ensuring that we are better connected and digital technologies are accessible to everyone.
  • Stimulate job creation and business growth, by accelerating the transition to a greener, carbon negative region.

David Kerfoot MBE DL, chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has bought challenge in one way or another to every single one of us, yet it has undoubtedly impacted heaviest on those in our society who already had the least. It is absolutely crucial that this vision is realised. We must ensure those who have previously been left behind aren’t pushed further into the margins. We must seize the incredibly unique opportunity we have to grow and strengthen our economy, whilst positively mitigating against climate change.

“The LEP have always championed partnership and connections locally, working at ground level knowing that this builds up a picture that benefits the region and country as a whole. Only by working in collaboration across the whole region, can we meet our ambitions for recovery.

“The Covid-19 crisis has amplified the need for us to deliver against the priorities laid out in our Local Industrial Strategy, legitimising our longer term vision. We hope our regions leaders, in both the public and private sector, will continue to work together to address the challenges our region faces, and grow out of the Covid-19 pandemic with an economy that is Greener, Fairer and Stronger – forever.”

Carolyn Frank, Development Manager for Federation of Smalls Businesses, said: “The region wide collaboration behind this vision is much needed. Strategies and plans will need to be bold, capitalising on our many assets especially the small business community who have shown such resilience and adaptability. They need all our ongoing support to regain their pre-Covid momentum and overcome the still considerable challenges to their livelihoods.

“Politics and silo working were rightly put aside to forge an innovative approach during the crisis. A recovery vision that recognises this value and achieves cross regional buy in, will help us get back to business in a sustainable way, with great benefit to all our communities in York and North Yorkshire.”

Professor Charlie Jeffery, the University of York’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “It’s so important to have this vision for economic recovery, as it will drive actions and priorities to help our city and region move forward.

“We know that the University has a really critical role to play in this collective effort, through our campus activities and our teaching, so that staff and students contribute to this greener, fairer and stronger agenda. And, of course, through one of our biggest strengths – our research – into areas such as finding sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, food sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Greener, Fairer, Stronger, the economic recovery plan for York & North Yorkshire, is being developed by the LEP in collaboration with local authorities, business, education and sector leaders. The plan will underpin and support local economic plans, which focus on the specific needs of each local authority. The plan will influence any stimulus funding which could be made available from government to invest in York & North Yorkshire, as well as shape policy for medium to long term investments.

For further information about Greener, Fairer, Stronger, visit our webpage here.