The Business Magazine - B2B Business News - Site Logo
The Business Magazine - B2B Business News - Site Logo
The Business Magazine July 2024
Read now

Sustainable growth is at heart of Gloucestershire's 10-year economic strategy

The Business Magazine article image for: Sustainable growth is at heart of Gloucestershire's 10-year economic strategy
21 May 2024

By Ian Mean, Business West Gloucester director

Driven by innovation, built on heritage is an excellent descriptive headline to Gloucestershire’s new Economic Strategy for the next ten years until 2034.

It encompasses the key assets of Gloucestershire and provides a timely, long term vision of what we need to achieve as a county.

In short, we need to create a more inclusive, greener economy, supported by an action plan to deliver the priorities over the coming years.

A strategy , according to my Oxford Dictionary, is “a plan for achieving a major goal”.

And here’s the challenge. How do we achieve that goal when this new strategy must  involve the views of all our six district councils?

Will it have enough teeth?

At the heart of the plan, which has taken something like five years to develop, is sustainable growth. Extremely difficult to achieve.

With the disappearance of GFirstLEP after 13 years, delivery of the plan now falls to a new Economic Growth Board, which will be chaired by the leader of the County Council, Mark Hawthorne.

He is an experienced local politician who I believe will not throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to developing plans as GfirstLEP did pretty successfully.

But the voice of local business must be heard loud and clear in the constitution and operation of this new board. It must not in any way be perceived as a county council puppet.

I am, therefore, pleased that GFirstLEP’s business sector groups are being retained under the new board  and expanded together with the county’s Growth Hubs.

Over the past 20 years editing newspapers in this region, I have campaigned to encourage more opportunities for young people-particularly through apprenticeships.

That work must continue and increase through the county council with our excellent Further Education colleges.

Skills and their encouragement -so much part of Gloucestershire’s heritage-must be front and centre of this new strategy.

None of this vision for the next ten years will be achieved without some dynamic leadership. In partnership, our businesses and councillors must rise to the challenge.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

Latest deal ticket

All deals


All events

Related news

Group Titles

Dorset BIZ NewsHampshire BIZ News