Ruli Pennington - executive producer at CLGdotTV. Writes Night in the City an occasional and occasionally scurrilous blog for Information Daily. Passionate about better public services, devolution, malt whisky & women's football.


Ambitious vision for economic growth across Sheffield City Region outlined by the Local Enterprise Partnership


© CresySusy 2010 - Sheffield Winter Garden

Inclusive Industrial Strategy will unlock the potential for faster growth + conference to strengthen links with China

At a meeting held at the AMP Technology Centre in Waverley, members of the LEP discussed the Inclusive Industrial Strategy, which has the overarching aim of creating a 21st Century Making City Region, building on the core strengths of a city region that designs, develops and distributes.

While Sheffield City Region has already achieved a great deal, including bringing 16,000 new jobs to the economy in the last three years and securing inward investment from 66 companies – including McLaren and Boeing – there is more to be done to ensure that people from all communities benefit from this economic growth.

The Inclusive Industrial Strategy will go out to consultation before a final version is formally considered by the LEP before the end of the year.

Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of the LEP, said: “Supporting people and businesses across the Sheffield City Region to thrive has consistently been at the core of our thinking and action.

“But we want to go further, unlocking the potential to grow faster. That’s why this Inclusive Industrial Strategy has been written, in order to enable us to invest and deliver in a new way, looking at how we can best help those marginalised groups and places."

In terms of research and innovation, the strategy aims to strengthen the city region’s position as a 21st Century Making City Region. This means increasing the support to businesses for making the most of new technologies, building upon existing assets such as the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, and further positioning Sheffield City Region as a test base for trialling such technologies.

For business and investment, the strategy sets out a plan to identify companies with significant growth potential and offer them further support. There will also be an additional drive to improve the city region’s international brand and reputation. One area of focus will be the realtionship with China and Chinese enterprises.

Investment from China has seen more than 1,200 jobs created and investment projects worth a total of £233.5m made across Sheffield City Region. Now these business relationships are set to be boosted even further, after the city region became a member of the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) last week.
Membership means that Sheffield City Region can take advantage of CBBC’s specialist advisers in the UK and a network of business contacts and decision-makers across China, in order to form new relationships, create investment opportunities and further grow the economy.
More than 300 participants from business and government in China are also set to attend the Horasis China conference, taking place in Sheffield on 5 and 6 November this year. The conference programme will explore China’s trade strategy, as well as giving delegates the chance to network and relax in venues including the Cutlers Hall, City Hall, Sheffield Cathedral, the AMRC and Chatsworth House.

"Creating places where people want to live, work and play is also a key priority". The strategy sets out a vision for achieving this by developing plans that focus upon the city region’s urban areas, as well as the seven “growth” areas of the Dearne Valley, Doncaster Sheffield Airport corridor, Markham Vale, the A61 corridor, Sheffield city centre, the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District and DN7 in Doncaster. Other plans involve addressing barriers preventing the development of housing land and exploiting the region’s excellence as a visitor destination.

The final priority outlined in the strategy is transport. The biggest challenge identified is improving movement around the city region itself, through a fully-integrated public transport system. However, the strategy also highlights the importance of improving travel between the city region and other cities across the North, as well as with London, while also continuing to grow Doncaster Sheffield Airport to improve international connectivity. 

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