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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice.

What is the economic growth strategy

Our ambitions

This Economic Growth Strategy sets out our ambitions to enable clean, inclusive, sustainable and good quality economic growth across the whole council area. We aim to bring improved standards of living, quality of life, health, and wellbeing for all of Dorset’s residents. We want to ensure that Dorset is great place to live, work and visit.

The strategy provides further detail on the economy part of the Dorset Council Plan. It has been developed following engagement with Dorset businesses, business organisations and networks.

The strategy is informed by constantly evolving national and local policy. It is designed to complements strategies such as:

  • Modern Industrial Strategy
  • Dorset Local Industrial Strategy
  • Dorset Council’s emerging Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy

Our priorities

  • enhance Dorset as a place to do business and attract inward investment
  • support the creation and growth of new sustainable business. This will support high quality job creation
  • improve transport and digital connectivity across the area
  • enhance aspirations and skills to improve social mobility

Six foundations

A live document

Our plan is to frequently review and update this strategy and action plan. We will continuously review and ongoing impacts and policy responses.

Strategic context

This strategy reinforces the message in the Local Industrial Strategy that any increase in productivity must not come at the expense of the environment. It must allow all communities to contribute to and benefit from increased prosperity.

It shows how Dorset can contribute to national ambitions for sustainable growth.

Objectives

We will focus on supporting social mobility and protection for the environment. We will address Dorset’s particular challenges related to its demographics. We will be aware of the highly protected landscapes. We will challenge low productivity and lower than average skills. We will seek to address the high proportion of businesses in lower value added activity.

To achieve the economic ambitions of the Council, our ambition is:

  • enhanced digital infrastructure, full fibre technology and mobile connectivity, serving the whole of Dorset
  • securing additional funds and inward investment to deliver transformative schemes
  • improved capacity and reliability of power supplies and networks to drive growth (especially at key employment sites and preferably from green energy sources)

How do we support local economic growth, as an employer?

As a major employer and provider of services across Dorset, we have an obligation and the ability to influence local economic growth. The purchase of goods and provision of services will seek to maximise the beneficial impact of the investment for the local economy. Economic and social considerations will inform procurement and contracting decisions, and we will drive innovation and improve skills with our suppliers. 

We are recognised as a Cornerstone Employer by the Careers and Enterprise Company. We will continue to invest in our staff and partners to raise aspirations and improve skills. We will continue to promote – and use - local apprenticeships.

We provide many services which impact directly and indirectly upon the business community. These include regulatory services such as Trading Standards and licensing and economic intelligence. We provide low carbon advice and support. We also provide planning, highways, waste and recycling services.

We will enable growth aligned with this strategy and always strive to provide consistency and certainty to aid investment decisions.

Complementarity

We have been developing policy and priorities on several inter-related topics, including the climate and ecological emergency, rural access to services and the new local plan. It is essential that these policies, their associated action plans and implementation programmes, complement each other to achieve the ambition of the council. 

We have a vital role to play providing a strong voice for Dorset.

Our ambition for the future of Dorset, and the development of the local economy, cannot be achieved by working in isolation. We need support and to engage with the business and wider community. We will continue to engage with businesses through individual relationships, working with clusters and through business networks and organisations.

We will work with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership to secure resources for economic growth.

We will liaise with our Members of Parliament to inform and influence Government policy and actions.

Place making, underpinned by economic growth and prosperity, requires collaboration with town and parish councils, community and voluntary groups. It also requires a broad range of sector or location focused bodies. Innovative approaches to delivery will be explored within the national policy and funding context. This includes development partnerships with appropriate organisations. More details about who we will work with to enable economic growth will be included in the action plan.

Monitoring

Many of the actions needed to deliver this strategy rely on collaboration with partners, and securing external funding, which will come with their own monitoring and evaluation requirements depending on the funding organisation and collaboration partners. Many projects will also contribute to the Local Industrial Strategy or other Dorset focused strategies. In general, duplication of reporting is to be avoided. Where we undertake an action without partners or external funding, reporting and monitoring will be based on our own Project and Programme Management tools.

Review

In light of the unprecedented pace of changes and uncertainty brought about by COVID-19 and Brexit, we will need to review both the Strategy and proposed Action Plan more frequently.

We have a vital role to play providing a strong voice for Dorset

Our ambition for the future of Dorset, and the development of the local economy, cannot be achieved by the Council working in isolation. We need the support and engage with the business and wider community. We will continue to engage with businesses through individual relationships, working with clusters, and through business networks and organisations.

We will work with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council and the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership to secure resources for economic growth.

We will liaise with our Members of Parliament to inform and influence Government policy and actions.

What evidence has informed this strategy?

Most of our evidence for this strategy is available from Dorset Insight. The insight presents a broad spectrum of data drawn from a wide range of published sources. The key relevant data sets are summarised in the State of Dorset report and Dorset Local Economic Assessment.

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