The plan to rebalance the outer city estates in Graham Allen MP’s Nottingham North constituency will now be transformed into action.
That was his message today after leaders from the worlds of business, local government and the third sector will come together to commence the second stage of Mr Allen’s ‘rebalancing’ project.
Mr Allen’s vision is to rebalance the economic prospects of large estates located on the edge of major cities, such Bulwell, Aspley and Basford which lie within his constituency.
He is working with D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, and other partners including the local authority and third sector, to make the pilot scheme a success and a blueprint for the rest of the country.
Speakers at the cross-party event at New College Nottingham’s Basford Hall campus today included Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable MP, Government advisor Lord Heseltine, CEO of The Big Lottery Fund Dawn Austwick, and chair of Labour’s Policy Review John Cruddas MP.
Discussion panels with the visiting were then chaired by ncn Principal Dawn Whitemore, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Chair Peter Richardson, managing director of BEST Social Enterprise Anna Mimms MBE and Tony Travers of the London School of Economics.
As a result of the event, Mr Allen aims to use the feedback to build a business plan for the rebalancing project, with a view to garnering further support in the city and cross-party political backing.
D2N2 has included the plan as a priority within its Strategic Economic Plan, which was submitted to Government on March 31 this year.
D2N2 Chief Executive David Ralph said: “The purpose of today was to take this from a concept and a great idea and begin turning it into action.
“There were key players from big business, small businesses, social enterprises, further education and local authority leaders and officers in that room and cross-party support
“We really need their feedback because it is a great idea, now we have to make it happen and gather the evidence and framework to ensure it happens sooner rather than later.
“We need to have a clear, logical framework with targeted interventions. We want this to be a proven pilot that is rolled out nationally and we want it going live in April 2015.”
Vince Cable MP discussed the importance of business and government working together, closing the skills gap and stated it was imperative the provision of adult education was included in the business plan for the rebalancing project.
And Lord Heseltine spoke about creating a culture where there are clear ladders of aspiration, young go-getters and a generation who think ‘up’, not ‘flat’.
“This project really interests me and that is why I have visited Nottingham today, said Lord Heseltine. “This is a huge opportunity. We are talking about creating a different culture, a different set of attitudes.”
Mr Allen added: “We need to work together, all of us, and maximise each others’ capabilities. It is about additionality.
“My ambition is that every child goes to school being ready and every child leaves school work-ready. That is the strong economic base for which everything else will be built.
“This rebalancing project is an investment that will pay hundreds of dividends for the taxpayer and above all, the young people concerned.”
Dawn Whitemore: “We were absolutely delighted host this important event at ncn Basford Hall. Our new campus, due in September 2015, will have a huge role to play in the development of Basford and beyond. Education and training is the key to giving people better life chances and we are determined that the new campus and the opportunities on offer there will have a positive impact on the whole community.”