11 March 2013

A 10-point Plan for prosperity has been launched in Northamptonshire offering a blueprint for how the county can work towards economic growth.

Developed by Northamptonshire County Council along with Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership the strategy sets out how up to 70,000 jobs could be created in the county over the next 15 years.

While the strategy outlines how the county will work towards growth it also shows how Government can help Northamptonshire achieve its goals.

The Plan calls for more devolved funding so that Northamptonshire can have greater control over its growth agenda and target funds to the most important local projects.

This localism also has the advantage of cutting costs and reducing bureaucracy by streamlining processes.

The Plan was presented to Prime Minister David Cameron this week by Leader of the County Council, Cllr Jim Harker.

Cllr Harker said: “We’ve got very clear ideas about what we need to do to create the conditions to bring economic prosperity to the county and this 10-point Plan sets out our ambition working with NEP and the business community.

“These have been very challenging times for the country from a financial point of view but this has inspired us to think of innovative solutions and already we’re starting to see positive signs in the economy.

“What this strategic document does is show Government how we intend to bring prosperity to Northamptonshire.

“However, as good as the ideas are and as ambitious as we are, we still need help from Government and the Plan also brings this to the attention of Whitehall.”

Paul Southworth, Chairman of Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership said: “This plan illustrates that Northamptonshire has the ambition, ingredients and credentials needed to deliver continued economic growth. The county’s progressive approach to stimulating growth and investment as illustrated through the 10-point Plan has powerful potential for the local and national economy.

“We have already created or safeguarded over 1,200 jobs since establishment, and supported over 1,000 businesses. Through understanding the county’s specific needs and requirements, we are able to tailor the approach to suit Northamptonshire business in the most practical way – whether that’s support for innovative high performance technology companies or innovative funding streams for new businesses.”

The document is in response to Lord Heseltine’s report No stone unturned in pursuit of growth which gave strong support for the localism agenda and empowering local places to take the initiative to generate growth.

One of Lord Heseltine’s recommendations was for local areas to prepare a strategic plan to this end.

The Northamptonshire 10 point plan focuses on the following areas:

  1. Housing growth – infrastructure schemes to unlock growth.
  2. Digital economy – superfast broadband
  3. Innovation – help to businesses through schemes such as INV-ENT.
  4. High performance technology – working closely with UTCs.
  5. Logistics and distribution - strategic alliances to develop this sector.
  6. Public sector land and buildings – public buildings creating private sector growth.
  7. International investment and trade – The European Investment Team.
  8. Energy efficiency – the county intends to become a centre for low-carbon technologies.
  9. Civic infrastructure – regeneration of town centres.
  10. Skills and employment – equipping people with the right skills to fulfil their potential.