Hertfordshire’s business community gathered to have a say on the future direction of the county’s economy at The Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Growth Strategy consultation event.
The event, held at Stevenage’s Bioscience Catalyst on Friday 28 June offered the county’s business leaders an important opportunity to influence Hertfordshire's priorities for growth.
Once complete the strategy will set out the county's economic agenda for the next 20 years.
Delegates heard from a panel of Hertfordshire’s most influential businesses as well as Minister for Business Enterprise and Energy, Michael Fallon MP who spoke about The Government’s wider vision for growth.
Discussion centred around The LEP's draft growth strategy (linked below) and it’s vision that by 2030 Hertfordshire will be the leading economy at the heart of the UK's golden research triangle (Oxford-Cambridge-London).
Three priorities have been identified as key to achieving this vision. These are;
• Nurturing science based Enterprise and Innovation
• Harnessing our relationship with London
• Re-invigorating vibrant towns for the 21st Century
The LEP will now gather the feedback from Friday’s event and its wider consultation which continues until 12 July before finalising its Growth Strategy later in July.
LEP Chair, John Gourd said: "It is absolutely vital that we get this strategy right. The global economy is changing and we have to prepare for the future or risk getting left behind. The LEP's draft strategy sets out a pragmatic plan of action for tackling the challenges facing Hertfordshire, not only today and tomorrow but over the next 10 to 20 years."
Business Minister Michael Fallon, said: "Local Enterprise Partnerships are driving local economic growth and reversing years of centralisation by giving local areas the power and funding to achieve their potential. This week Government announced it was devolving £2 billion to LEPs to allow them to have more control over how vital cash is spent in their areas. Each LEPs' growth strategy will be key to deciding how big a slice of this pot they receive - so seeking views from local organisations and businesses on what priorities are is essential.
"The Hertfordshire LEP is already showing real ambition in wanting to build on strengths in science and innovation. It is well placed to become a leading hub of expertise."