Plan will be accompanied by initial five year delivery plan and supported by new cross-county partnership board

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet voted to approve and support the implementation of the Herefordshire Big Economic Plan on 26th January, along with its initial five year delivery plan.

Led by the Herefordshire Sustainable Growth Strategy Board, and following a wide range of consultation, the Big Economic Plan is a partnership document, setting a collective vision for the future growth of the county.

Herefordshire faces some significant long term economic challenges: since 2015 the County’s Gross Value Added has declined at almost twice the national rate, growth in the number of jobs available remains slow, and workplace earnings are almost £5,000 lower than the national average.

However, the county also has fantastic opportunities, with excellent quality of life and environment, strengths in further and higher education including one of the first new universities to be established in the country in decades (New Model Institute in Technology and Engineering), a thriving Enterprise Zone, and strengths in areas such as food and drink, tourism, creative industries and cyber security.

We are also well placed to benefit from new opportunities in the green economy, and changing lifestyle choices as people choose to seek an enhanced quality of life whilst working remotely.

The Big Economic Plan will enable the county, through collaborative working to meet a shared vision, to address these challenges and rise to our opportunities.

One of the key recommendations of the Plan is create a place-focused partnership board consisting of public, private and voluntary sectors, working together to implement the Plan and deliver our shared ambitions for the county.  The vision is:

‘In 2050 Herefordshire is a vibrant, healthy, zero carbon, and inclusive place to live, work, study and visit at all stages of life. Our rural communities, market towns and university city are thriving with high quality employment, housing and services. A high technology, higher value and creative economy has enabled living standards to rise. We have protected our rich natural environment’.

Cllr Ellie Chowns, Cabinet Member Environment and Economy, said: “We’re very pleased to support the Big Economic Plan, committing to play our role as partner, to deliver a sustainable future and thriving communities in the county, create higher value jobs and careers for all, enhance quality of life, raise living standards and protect our environment.

“We look forward immensely to working as part of the new place-focused partnership to further develop and review the Plan, alongside its five-yearly delivery plans. The vision within the Plan is so exciting, and as we work towards it as a county we will all benefit from improved infrastructure and public realm, a robust economy, and greater opportunities in education, training and skills development.”

For more information and to read the Big Economic Plan, please see the Cabinet papers