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.
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.
What are the main barriers to future economic growth and productivity in Gloucestershire?
What skills issues are impacting negatively on economic growth and productivity in Gloucestershire?
What infrastructure improvements are needed to support future economic growth and productivity in Gloucestershire?
What support is needed to help businesses to grow, innovate, become more productive and access new markets?
What specific economic challenges are faced by the urban and rural areas of Gloucestershire?
Which industrial sectors will drive future economic growth and productivity in Gloucestershire?
What can be done to ensure that all Gloucestershire residents benefit from future economic growth?
What can Gloucestershire contribute to the four Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges (Artificial Intelligence & Data, Ageing Society, Clean Growth, and the Future of Mobility)?
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?
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?
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:
Enhance the county as a place to live and do business through biodiversity net gain and ‘Building With Nature’
Build climate change resilience through Natural Flood Management [NFM]
Maximise and enhance the rural tourism potential through Cotswolds and FoD, building a strong Gloucestershire-wide tourism brand
Become a national exemplar of sustainable environmentally friendly food production
Any further ideas for strategic level ambitions that will make a significant contribution to driving economic growth and productivity through the natural environment.
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
Area of land in food production/farming
Awards and recognition
Building with Nature
What makes our natural environment “distinctive”?
Baseline research of our natural capital and ecosystem service assets
Number of jobs within each environmental sector
Air Quality reports
Water management and flood prevention
Food/Agri Business data [food strategy alignment]
Value of national walking trails – OrVal tool
Value to health
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
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
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.
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.
The closing date for submissions is by 5pm on Wednesday 1st May 2019.
Draft document will be presented at the GLNP Board meeting on Thursday 16th May 2019.
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.
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.