Evidencing Gloucestershire's Natural Environment within the Local Industrial Strategy

Background

On Thursday 21st March, GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire's Local Enterprise Partnership, made a 'call for evidence' to help inform Gloucestershire’s Local Industrial Strategy (LIS). This Strategy will set the direction for the future of Gloucestershire’s economy. It will help to inform local choices, prioritise local action and, where appropriate, help to inform decisions at a national level. It will also guide local investment alongside funding which is granted to Local Enterprise Partnerships by central government and other national schemes.


The Government is committed to LIS’s so that all places are able to increase productivity and realise their potential, building on well-evidenced and distinctive strengths aligned to the national Industrial Strategy. As well as, set out the spatial impacts of national and local policy across our cities, towns and rural areas, informing priorities and choices and demonstrating how they will allow all communities to contribute to, and benefit from, economic prosperity.


Scope

It is critical that we ensure Gloucestershire's natural environment is prominent within the LIS as a key factor in the prosperity, attractiveness and productivity of the county. In order to do this, we need to develop a robust and up-to-date evidence base that identifies the strengths and opportunities of our local natural capital and ecosystem services.


We are calling on all our partner organisations and beyond to help gather, share and compile robust and open evidence to prove just how important Gloucestershire's natural environment is to our economy.


Below will outline the details of the kind of information GFirst LEP are seeking, which we would like to collate on behalf of the Partnership to compile a compelling and powerful case.


Questions for Consideration:

The Call for Evidence consists of ten questions based around the five Foundations of Productivity and four Grand Challenges included within the national Industrial Strategy. To help you with selecting the most appropriate evidence, you may wish to consider how the information will help to answer the following questions. The ones we may wish to focus on are questions 1, 3, 5, 10.


  1. What are the main barriers to future economic growth and productivity in Gloucestershire?

  2. What skills issues are impacting negatively on economic growth and productivity in Gloucestershire?

  3. What infrastructure improvements are needed to support future economic growth and productivity in Gloucestershire?

  4. What support is needed to help businesses to grow, innovate, become more productive and access new markets?

  5. What specific economic challenges are faced by the urban and rural areas of Gloucestershire?

  6. Which industrial sectors will drive future economic growth and productivity in Gloucestershire?

  7. What can be done to ensure that all Gloucestershire residents benefit from future economic growth?

  8. What can Gloucestershire contribute to the four Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges (Artificial Intelligence & Data, Ageing Society, Clean Growth, and the Future of Mobility)?

  9. What opportunities are there for collaboration within the M4 corridor region and/or M5 corridor region and wider UK to improve economic growth and productivity?

  10. What other economic challenges, opportunities or sources of information do you think should be taken into consideration when preparing the Local Industrial Strategy’s emerging priorities?

Our Ambition

The Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership want to see a range of outcomes from this call for evidence. Evidence that helps us pin down commitments to the following:

  1. Enhance the county as a place to live and do business through biodiversity net gain and ‘Building With Nature’

  2. Build climate change resilience through Natural Flood Management [NFM]

  3. Maximise and enhance the rural tourism potential through Cotswolds and FoD, building a strong Gloucestershire-wide tourism brand

  4. Become a national exemplar of sustainable environmentally friendly food production

  5. Any further ideas for strategic level ambitions that will make a significant contribution to driving economic growth and productivity through the natural environment.

Evidence Gathering

We will be looking following the rough structure and evidence suggestions listed in the table below to present our collective findings. Please feel free to expand your evidence sharing beyond the list.


Our natural environment’s contribution to the local economy – Big narrative

Area of publicly accessible land

Visitor numbers

Area of land in food production/farming

Awards and recognition

ESIF/ERDF

Building with Nature

What makes our natural environment “distinctive”?

Baseline research of our natural capital and ecosystem service assets

Provisioning services

Tourism data

Number of jobs within each environmental sector

Air Quality reports

Water management and flood prevention

Pollinator Services

Food/Agri Business data [food strategy alignment]

Value of national walking trails – OrVal tool

Value to health

Env-Cultural-Heritage assets

Nature Recovery Network

Integrated Mapping Tool

Opportunities for further contribution – Project ideas

Regional Parks [2050 alignment]

ELMS and vertical farms

Tewkesbury Garden Village – Building with Nature

Active Travel provision

Renewable Energy

Rewildling(?)

Gateway to Gloucestershire

Cotswolds Water Park

Cotswold Night Sky designation

Net gain across all land-use

Large new Forest in the south of the county

Technology Development in agri

Natural Flood Management [NFM] and River Severn realignment

Attractiveness to the young, economically contributing demographic

UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Lydney Bridge – walking, cycling and public transport only(?)

Addressing barriers to visitor economy

Resilience/Risks – What would happen if we didn’t consider the value of our natural environment?

Air Quality risk with car transportation – most deprived at highest risk

Climate Change

Flood/Drought Risk

Soils/Food


Consultation with Business Owners

It would be a fantastic opportunity to feed in quotes and feedback from business owners across the county who are based in Gloucestershire as a result of the natural environment, were highly influenced by it, or that it has a direct positive impact on their business or their staff.


If you have close relationships with any businesses within the county, please do chat to them about their decisions to be based here and the importance of the natural environment to them. Please make note of any quotes (with permission and names/organisation) so we can feed these throughout the report.


Further Evidence

If there is additional evidence that would add great value to the LIS but we currently do not have access to it (due to cost) or it will require specific research to be undertaken, please do share these with us and any knowledge you may have of existing or potential datasets that could be useful that we may wish to consider here and request to be commissioned from the LEP to obtain the data. This is likely to be areas such as soil quality, air pollution, health impacts, and carbon storage.


Project Timeframe

  1. The closing date for submissions is by 5pm on Wednesday 1st May 2019.

  2. Draft document will be presented at the GLNP Board meeting on Thursday 16th May 2019.

  3. The Draft will be returned to Partners for final comment by Thursday 23rd May 2019, with return comment by 5pm on Tuesday 28th May 2019.

  4. The deadline to submit evidence directly to GFirst LEP is Friday 31st May 2019.

Return of Evidence

Submissions may be returned in physical or electronic format to the GLNP Partnership Manager.

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