Thu, 11 Jul 2019
WEST Berkshire Council is seeking the opinions of local residents and businesses on a new Economic Development Strategy for the district.
The comprehensive draft document details West Berkshire’s current economic situation, opportunities foreseen in the future and how the council plans to deal with emerging problems.
It comes following the release of the West Berkshire 2036 Vision, published by the West Berkshire Health & Wellbeing Board earlier this year, and the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which outlined what must be done to boost productivity as well as ensure everyone has the opportunity to benefit from the country’s economic success.
The document outlines the aims laid down within the 2036 Vision and how the council intends to achieve them.
Key priorities include granting opportunities for all citizens to fulfil their potential, increasing variety within the housing market to provide everyone with suitable options and helping the local economy become even more productive and dynamic.
The strategy concentrates on four different areas within the district that will receive focus; people, places, infrastructure and business environment.
Some of the plans include encouraging the uptake of apprenticeships, delivering the infrastructure required for electric and autonomous vehicles and building West Berkshire’s brand by promoting both its proximity to London and Reading as well as the region’s natural beauty.
West Berkshire Council executive member for economic development Hilary Cole said: “We are pleased to be consulting on our draft Economic Development Strategy, which we hope will boost our already successful local economy.
“West Berkshire is lucky to have one of the strongest local economies in the UK, with fantastic digital infrastructure, a well-qualified workforce and almost 9,000 businesses registered in the district.
“However, it is important for us not to be complacent about our future.”
“We want to make sure that the actions we’re taking are what businesses and residents want and need, which is why we’ll be holding engagement events across the district so that as many people as possible have a chance to feed into the consultation.
“I would therefore encourage anyone interested in the strategy to go to our website and respond to the consultation by the end of July.”
The council is encouraging both residents and businesses to give their views on the new Economic Development Strategy via the consultation on its website before it ends on Wednesday, July 31.
Once the strategy has been adopted, it will be implemented by the economic development and infrastructure team through the council’s newly-created economic development board.