Greener, Fairer, Stronger – Our Vision For York & North Yorkshire

Working together, making the most of our great place and growing from our strengths, we can shift to a greener, fairer and stronger economy, accelerating opportunities for innovation and change in York and North Yorkshire.

The COVID – 19 pandemic has hit our region hard. The scale of economic impact across the region is unprecedented and has landed hardest on those who already had the least. It’s been tough, with people’s lives and their livelihoods turned upside down. If you need help, we urge you to get in touch with us. The dramatic impact on all of our lives has made us question what we value. Our resilience has been tested like never before.  

Yet time and again we have risen to the challenge. Businesses and communities have come together to create new ways of working. We are kinder, more innovative and more courageous than maybe even we knew. We’re proud of what our region has achieved together.

We are at a moment in time where we must come together to create change. Building on the shared values and collective efforts that have brought us together during the pandemic, we can shift to a better life for everyone. Out of the challenges we must recognise the opportunity we have before us, to work with the grain of our place and grow our economy as greener, fairer and stronger – one that includes everyone in opportunities for innovation and change – and transforms how we live, learn, work and visit in York and North Yorkshire.


We can address some of the long term key challenges our region faces

York and North Yorkshire offers a great quality of life, with amazing heritage, culture and abundant natural landscapes. What is vital now is that we ensure that it is a safe place to live, work and visit. By prioritising the things that will make our place safer, we will build resilience into our economy longer term. Working from home, open and safe high streets, increased walking and cycling are all ingredients for great place making. 

Strength in our economy will come from addressing long term challenges too. 

Even before COVID many people have been living in financial hardship and working in jobs that are essential to our economy and our health and well-being, yet their pay is below the living wage. 

Local communities have been hit hard by flooding and the impacts of climate change. 

Businesses have struggled to find the people with the right skills living locally, and had to scale back their ambitions or move.  Others have yet to prioritise training and learning as ways to grow better, stronger businesses.

Young people seeking to build their skills and a career close to home can struggle to access learning and many of our residents have to travel out of the region to work.


Greener, fairer, stronger – Local Industrial Strategy

Our Local Industrial Strategy has determined that as a region we want to achieve good growth for our economy, growth that is driven by purpose, raising economic productivity by building the resilience of our environment and providing good lives for all of our people.   

As we grow our economy out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want an economy that is greener, fairer and stronger. With our Local Industrial Strategy we have already identified how to achieve this. In York and North Yorkshire we can have good growth, that benefits and includes everyone AND we can have a carbon-negative economy that benefits the planet and leads the UK to its carbon neutral targets. 

York and North Yorkshire has unique and compelling opportunities for green growth given our unique abundance of natural environment, bio-based resources and bio-economy innovation assets. We have the resources and the knowledge embedded into the heart of the vast testing bed of our rural geography to become global leaders in green growth. We have the digital technology and capability to transform research and development and the ways in which people live, work and experience our region when they visit. By ending digital disadvantage and connecting people to opportunity across the region, we can embrace our unique assets to bring benefits for all – for people, communities and for businesses to innovate and thrive. 

During the pandemic we have had to change our lives dramatically. Whilst this has bought hardship it also brings us a moment in time where we are empowered to do things differently.

Making bold, agile and principled decisions in the short-term, we can bring our economy to life in a way that will underpin longer term growth and position our region to be greener, fairer and stronger – for places, for people, for businesses and for our natural environment.


To grow our economy and emerge from the COVID 19 pandemic greener, fairer and stronger we need to…


  • Support businesses to survive Covid-19 and thrive through resilience and innovation, delivering a greener, fairer, stronger economy.
  • Help people 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 safer, 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.


By working together, in our communities, across the region, with our northern neighbours and telling our story nationally and internally – we can shift to an economy in York and North Yorkshire that is Greener, Fairer and Stronger – forever.