Heading into another Christmas, our economy has shown great resilience throughout the year – we are recognised as the UK’s fastest growing economy. We have also had some recent exciting announcements with the signing of the D2N2 Growth Deal by Greg Clark securing £174.4m of public funding and extension of our Enterprise Zone to Derby in the Autumn statement, the launch of the ‘trailblazing’ D2N2 Growth hub and planning approvals its week for 2 crucial Growth Deal projects –the Boots Enterprise Zone and BioCity Phase 2
In summary, as we approach 2015, we can reflect that:
- D2N2 LEP is a very different place than it was 12-18 months ago
- We now have increased capacity and capability to deliver our published Strategic Economic Plan and approved Growth Deal
- We must remain both strategic and evidence-based to deliver our ambition to be the UK’s Most Inspirational Postcode.
2015 will see many challenges often focused pre and post election. Pre-Election, the UK economic strategy and devolution will be very much central to the national debate and post-election, whoever wins, the new Government will set the future direction of travel.
For D2N2 LEP 2015 is all about delivery. Delivery of our Growth Deal, mobilising EU ESIF resources and supporting businesses to grow. Increasing productivity rather than just jobs is becoming increasingly significant.
However, I also think that as well as delivery we must provide a compelling narrative on where we want the economy to be in 25-30 years time. We are seriously ambitious but if the East Midlands wants to avoid being the space between London and the North, it will need to take charge of its own destiny.
Moreover, if we expect Government to devolve both powers and funding then we must put in place a compelling vision for growth and genuinely model the UK’s Most Inspirational Postcode.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and peaceful 2015.
David Ralph Chief Executive D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership