Local Industrial strategy consultation events: ideas and feedback

8 August 2018

Consultation events say Cumbria needs to attract and retain more people of working age

Cumbria needs to attract more people of working age; encourage more young people to stay in the county and improve the workforce’s skill levels.

These were among the key conclusions from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership’s consultation events on its new Industrial Strategy, which were held at venues around the county last month.

The consultation events brought together businesses, councils, education and skills providers, the NHS, the police, the fire service, charities and other interest groups to discuss Cumbria’s strengths, opportunities and challenges – and how these issues should be addressed in the Local Industrial Strategy. The Local Industrial Strategy is a very important document for Cumbria, as it will set out the county’s priorities to the 2030s.

Apart from addressing the employment and skills gap, other issues that were highlighted county-wide included the need for better infrastructure, especially digital connectivity.

The need to develop Cumbria’s creative and cultural offer was recognised as being an important part of attracting more people to live work and invest in county, particularly younger people.

Those that attended the events were also really keen that Cumbria spoke with one strong voice and worked together effectively to market the county.

Cumbria LEP Chief Executive Jo Lappin says: “The consultation events were great. They were well attended and the atmosphere at all the events was very positive.

“People recognised the importance of the strategy for Cumbria’s long-term future and were very keen to take part in its development. They also welcomed the fact that the LEP was committed to listening to all of our partners and were asking for their views.

“There was also a great deal of consistency in people’s priorities across Cumbria. The sessions generated a lot of great ideas, which the LEP will incorporate in its work going forward.

“We will work to develop a really strong strategy, with widespread local support, which highlights Cumbria’s strengths and makes a compelling case to Government and the private sector for investment in the county.

“The strategy will operate on twin platforms – increasing productivity and inclusive growth. We want to make sure that the strategy benefits everyone in the county, and that nobody is left behind”.

The Government has said that Local Industrial Strategies need to be based on its five foundations of productivity: ideas and innovation, people; infrastructure, business environment, and places for more prosperous communities.

The Government also wants the strategies to address its four grand challenges: growing the artificial intelligence and data driven economy; shifting towards green growth; shaping the future of mobility and meeting the needs of an aging society.

Feedback from the consultation events also includes the points set out below.

There will be further consultation events on the development of the Local Industrial Strategy later in the year. In the meantime, if you would like to submit your views, please email Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership at [email protected]

 

Feedback from Carlisle / North Cumbria:

  • There should be consistent marketing of Cumbria as a whole.
  • Better promotion of Cumbria to younger people with higher level skills and with families.
  • Increase the number of courses available at the University of Cumbria.
  • Address ‘poverty of aspiration’ in schools.
  • Improve housing and education to attract more people to the county.
  • Capture HS2 opportunities and include Penrith and Oxenholme.
  • Enhance Cumbria’ supply chain and look at import substitution opportunities.
  • Give existing businesses more support.
  • More support to help farmers diversify.
  • Improve the county’s cultural offer, especially for young people.
  • Improve the range and number of leisure venues.
  • Align the county and district agendas.
  • Strengthen Cumbria’s voice in the Northern Powerhouse.
  • Focus on strong sectors, e.g. manufacturing and tourism.
  • Improve childcare facilities to help people work and develop careers

 

Feedback from Barrow / Furness Peninsula:

  • Ensure jobs can be filled by people with the right skills and qualifications.
  • Develop and enhance for the longer term: skills, the supply chain, increase the number of young people with STEM skills.
  • Improve transport links.
  • Improve the resilience of the county’s infrastructure.
  • More direct rail services.
  • Make the journey to Sellafield easier.
  • There should be diversification of key sectors.
  • Replicate Liverpool’s success in transformation of docks.
  • Ensure more BAE Systems and Sellafield supply chain work goes to local firms (not satellite offices of big firms based elsewhere).
  • Reflect oil and gas sector strength and the potential for a DONG major centre to come to Barrow.
  • Enhance innovation networks.
  • Improve the perceptions of Barrow’s cultural offer.
  • Seek to achieve more inclusive growth in areas of persistent deprivation.

 

Feedback from South Lakes:

  • Focused, smart industrial strategy.
  • Better branding and promotion.
  • Sell the county on its strengths.
  • Widen diversity and therefore improve the cultural offer, especially to young people.
  • Create a positive environment for enterprise and innovation.
  • Increase the housing supply and provide more affordable housing.
  • Roll out super-fast broadband.
  • Reduce governance tiers.
  • Build carefully on Lake District World Heritage status.
  • Improve both physical and digital infrastructure.
  • Strengthen the health and social care sectors.
  • Develop Cumbria as place to pilot new ideas for agriculture post Brexit.
  • Establish links to Centres of Excellence elsewhere in the UK.

 

Feedback from West Cumbria:

  • Understand future employment opportunities and get key information on education and skills to young people.
  • Address skills gaps via the education system
  • Improve digital skills.
  • Make infrastructure improvements and recognise that physical infrastructure is important to access facilities elsewhere in UK.
  • Improve business support at key growth stages
  • Improve place marketing.
  • Sell West Lakes more to encourage people to visit there from central Lakes.
  • Make more of local opportunities from Sellafield.
  • Recognise that a Cumbria strategy for an area with diverse needs is challenging, so need to focus on commonalities.

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