Bucks seeks key deal with Government to boost local economic recovery and growth

Buckinghamshire Council have made an offer to the Government in a bid to drive a 'post-covid' economic recovery.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 10:15 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 10:16 am
The Key to Buckinhamshire's recovery?

The move will also attempt to nurture growth across Buckinghamshire and generate £10 billion more for the UK economy by 2050.

The plan was given the green light by BCC yesterday.

The proposals outline the huge potential on offer to 'turbocharge the local economy,' particularly in the County's hi-tech sectors; deliver additional infrastructure and opportunities for new carbon neutral and affordable housing; seek further investment in digital infrastructure to fully connect the county and bring in new programmes to reduce health inequalities, boost skills and develop apprenticeships.

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The 35-page offer document, 'Succeeding as a place, Succeeding as a Country' is the brainchild of the public, private and community sectors across the county who have come together under the umbrella of the new Buckinghamshire Growth Board, one of four established across the south east. Over the summer, the partners, have been working hard on the details of the proposals which provide a blueprint for the future development of the county as well as delivering a huge payback to the UK economy as a whole.

Buckinghamshire Council Leader, Martin Tett said that given the effects of the pandemic and the knock-on effects on the national and global economies, securing a 'high return, low risk' devolution deal with Government for Buckinghamshire had never been more important.

"As local leaders we're all too aware of the additional potential that could be released from Buckinghamshire's existing £14.8 billion economy. We are uniquely placed due to our location, previous strong track record and our four key 'super strength' sectors - creative and digital, high performance engineering, space technology at Westcott and medical technology.

"What we need from Government now are the tools to unlock that clear potential. We're not looking for straightforward hand-outs, what we really need is firm Government commitment backed up by a robust package of freedoms, flexibilities and investment so we can get on with the job.

"We believe our proposals will firmly align with the Government’s forthcoming Devolution White Paper, which will pave the way for devolution bids across the country. But why wait if we are ready to step up to the plate now? As a new unitary council, we are already securing new devolution deals with our own local communities, so we now need to see this commitment replicated by Government."

Martin added, "Given the fact that we are now a unitary council, ourselves and our partners can really benefit from being one of the most integrated and coterminous county structures in the country. This relationship, based on strong shared values and commitment mean we're ready to do business like never before to bring long-term benefits not only to Buckinghamshire but to the UK economy as a whole."

To read more about the proposals, click on item 9 of the Cabinet agenda papers for 10th November https://buckinghamshire.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=337&MId=334&Ver=4