Post Covid-19 economic recovery plan for West of England
The West of England Recovery Taskforce – set up to drive the region’s economic recovery – has produced a Regional Recovery Plan to protect and secure jobs, while building back greener and creating opportunities for all the local population to share in the recovery. Led by the West of England Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership, £9.4m has been committed to supporting the Recovery Plan, taking WECA’s total investment in businesses and skills to over £100m over the next four years. For the full picture please read the article below, written by Steve West – the Chair of West of England LEP – and issued today by Insider Media Ltd.
Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 15th February 2021
Business Matters: Economic recovery from Covid-19 is an opportunity for our region
Professor Steve West, chair of West of England Local Enterprise Partnership discusses the West of England Recovery Taskforce and the region’s recovery plan.
Just 12 months ago, we couldn’t imagine where we are today, and the challenges and uncertainty that so many businesses are facing due to Covid-19.
To answer an urgent need, the West of England Recovery Taskforce was set up, made up of senior figures from industry, education and local government, to drive the region’s economic recovery.
The Taskforce has put together a Regional Recovery Plan which outlines how, together, we will harness our region’s creativity and diversity to protect and secure jobs, while building back greener and creating opportunities for all residents to share in the recovery.
Led by the West of England Combined Authority and the Local Enterprise Partnership, £9.4m has been committed to supporting the Recovery Plan, taking WECA’s total investment in businesses and skills to over £100m over the next four years.
We’re combining the expertise of a number of specialist organisations to help businesses to adapt to the new economic landscape, as well as help residents to develop new skills, training and employment opportunities.
We’re supporting businesses to adapt, helping them to trade online, get help with finances, find a business mentor or access grants. We want to get residents back into employment and we’re helping them to change jobs or learn more skills giving them more employment security and access to new opportunities.
At the same time, it’s critical we strengthen diversity, and prevent further widening of inequalities – we want our region to have an inclusive economy where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential.
Using changes in behaviour brought about by the pandemic we also recognise the need to seize the opportunity to accelerate transition to net zero carbon and in doing so, we’ll create greener, healthier, more vibrant places to live and work. The West of England has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 - 20 years ahead of the UK target.
The recovery plan sets out ambitions to create 1,800+ new jobs and provide 22,000+ training and skills placements each year. To achieve this, we’re working with a range of to support residents and businesses.
We’re also assisting organisations of all sizes to innovate, giving them access to expertise, funding and partnerships to bring new products and services to market. Together, we're helping them to adapt, improve their resilience and make their ideas, reality.
How to access support
Central to the Recovery Plan is the West of England Combined Authority’s dedicated business support service, the West of England Growth Hub, which provides SMEs with tailored one-to-one advice and access to finance, support programmes and expert guidance.
To help navigate the wide range of support on offer through the West of England Growth Hub, the Combined Authority has released a new Business Support Guide.The guide, which is being shared with small and medium-sized enterprises across the region, contains guidance on everything from business grants to the extensive range of support programmes now available.