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New Economic Proposition will help drive business growth and jobs for the district


Next week’s Resources Committee will consider a new Economic Proposition for the district which will help deliver key strategic aims to strengthen and grow the local economy. These will include infrastructure improvements and regeneration of town centres which in turn will support business growth, attract new businesses and create employment opportunities.

The Economic Proposition has been drafted following detailed analysis work and consultation with the business community. In July 2017, a business survey was undertaken by NEMS Market Research during which 300 businesses in the district representing a 10% cross section were asked in depth questions.

The results highlighted the many positive aspects of being located in the district, including transport, parking and access to customers, but also captured the barriers to businesses settling and growing here. The barriers included cost of location (23%), availability of a skilled workforce (18%), road congestion (16%), superfast broadband availability (16%), lack of suitable premises (16%), lack of move-on premises (14%) and availability of housing for staff (9%).

Based on this work the Council has set out its key strategic aims:

• Improve and increase employment space.
• Invest in infrastructure.
• Regenerate town centres.
• Encourage high-skilled employment.
• Provide support for businesses to grow and prosper.

In the next year, the focus on economic improvement will deliver a number of projects including RegenOxted, the Caterham Town Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document and the introduction of a new business support offer. It will also assist with the potential redevelopment of Lambs Business Park and Hobbs Industrial Estate, together with continued support for the Business Improvement Districts and a range of infrastructure interventions.

Councillor Simon Ainsworth, Chair of the Resources Committee, said: “This Economic Proposition will help attract more high-value businesses to the district, providing more opportunities for our residents to work locally. We will also be able to better support our existing businesses and deliver exciting regeneration schemes in our town centres which will ensure our economy remains vibrant and competitive.”

 


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