Nottingham City Council launches ‘difficult but feasible’ plan to create 12,000 jobs

-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)
-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)

Plans to create 12,000 new jobs and add half a billion pounds of value in Nottingham have been launched. Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Growth Board, which are behind the plan, say it will make the city an attractive place to invest.

Leaders admit it will be difficult given Nottingham’s unemployment rate and skills gap, but insist it is achievable. The plan was unveiled to the business community at the BioCity campus in Nottingham on Tuesday, July 9, and will be launched this week.

It aims to achieve 12,000 new jobs and £500 million of GVA (Gross Value Added), which is the total value of goods and services, by 2030. There was a focus on the private and charity sectors taking over from the public sector in areas where they could perform better.

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The authority says the concept behind the Economic Plan is to have a shared vision for improving the economy of Nottingham, as well as a plan to help the city grow in a fair and sustainable way that benefits its citizens. The council said the plan will also be based on a framework of activity to help focus ambition and investment in the city and a plan for partners to work towards creating sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

City council deputy leader Councillor Ethan Radford (Lab) said: "The goals are ambitious but feasible. We have a Labour council, mayor and a government – finally – which can get us to the place we need to be in.

"It will be difficult, but I’m confident. We are realistic about the weaknesses, including unemployment and an unskilled workforce. But we know where to target and put resources in order to turn the situation around."

He said the council’s economic challenges, which saw it effectively being declared bankrupt last year, shouldn’t put investors off. "We have a new leadership and political stability for three years.

"We’re trying to create an image of Nottingham where we accept the mistakes we’ve made, get our house in order and get Nottingham to a place where it’s an attractive place to invest," Cllr Radford said. The plan will target four key areas, including people and skills, enterprise and investment, infrastructure and regeneration, and quality of life in the city.

The vision for the first area is for lifelong learning with an educational offer that aims to improve employment levels and give residents the necessary skills. The vision behind generating £500 million of additional GVA added by 2030 is about sustainable growth, "where existing industries are nurtured and new industries are empowered to expand and contribute towards a diverse, growing and prosperous economy".

Services and infrastructure will also be developed to serve a city population of 345,000 and a population across Greater Nottingham of 710,000 by 2030. This will be achieved by promoting "dynamic, green, and inclusive" areas that have sufficient quality space and "excellent" physical, transport, and digital connectivity.

The next £4 billion of regenerative investment in Nottingham will be achieved through a "contemporary, clean, and globally competitive" city centre with "bustling and attractive" neighbourhoods that draw people to a rich leisure, sporting, and heritage experience. Nick Ebbs, chair of the Nottingham Growth Board, said businesses should focus on the city's potential rather than its problems.

"We have great businesses like Boots and Experia. We have amazing universities. We have a great cultural offer," he said. "There are challenges around the city’s financial situation but there are so much more interesting things for businesses to focus on."

He said the plan wanted to deliver "not just jobs but good jobs", and welcomed recent statements from the new Labour government. "There’s been a lot of talk in the last few days about devolution and more focus on cities and mayoral authorities. That’s all good news for the city," he said.

East Midlands Mayor Claire Ward (Lab) had been due to attend the launch, but had been asked to meet Prime Minister Keir Starmer at Downing Street along with other mayors. Iain Blatherwick, chair of Marketing Nottingham & Nottinghamshire, appealed for businesses to get involved in the plan.

He said: "How amazing would it be if we can get the Island Quarter, Broadmarsh and Castle Meadow campus all right?"