Update from Dorset LEP

DORSET LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) has held a series of public consultation events across the county, enabling businesses and stakeholders to input and influence the development of Dorset’s LIS.

These events have discussed various challenges for Dorset such as house price affordability, connectivity, climate change, talent retention, social mobility and the ageing population. Points from the audience have also included the importance of consultation with younger people, the idea of branding Dorset as ‘well-being’ capital, and the need for more attractive town centres.

As the LEP develops its emerging thinking, it will continue to engage with businesses and local authorities. Current emerging priorities are outlined in a publication introduced during the LEP’s Annual Conference in May, which can be accessed here.

Below is a round-up from Dorset LEP’s latest newsletter.

Industry strategy collaboration

John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor at Bournemouth University, has spoken about the importance of the Dorset Local Enterprise Strategy (LIS) stating that Dorset county needs a ‘step-change in terms of its ambition, outlook and actions’. The Vice-Chancellor lists the four strategic investment areas which BU are investing in over the next seven years.

The Dorset LEP is working with Bournemouth University and the Dorset Chamber of Commerce to support BU’s strategic investment goals, increasing ambition and investment in Dorset.

John Vinney says: “The part we can play as a university guiding Dorset’s LIS response is a connecting one: joining up our partners, projects and people for the greater good of Dorset; keeping more of our student talent in Dorset post-graduation; ensuring the skills that we develop on our courses fit with local demand and building relationships, communities and ecosystems.

“Our university is an economic engine for Dorset, and this must be reflected in our LIS. We are looking forward to working in partnership with Dorset LEP and the wider community to ensure our economy excels and reaches its potential. We have a positive, dynamic future ahead.”

To read post in full Bold Actions, innovation, collaboration and connection

LEP secures £3.45 million for transport improvements in Gillingham

Gillingham will benefit from a £3.45 million investment in its transport infrastructure thanks to a successful growth deal fund bid secured by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (DLEP).

The proposed ‘Gillingham Growth’ infrastructure works include the following junction improvements:

  • At Shaftesbury Road/New Road and Newbury/Le Neubourg Way
  • ‘SCOOT’ (real-time adaptive traffic control system) installation on five junctions along the B3081/B3092 corridor
  • Sustainable transport improvements
  • New walking and cycling links between Cemetery Road and Station Road
  • Design of the Enmore Green Link Road in readiness for future government bidding opportunities

The proposed package of transport improvement schemes within Gillingham town centre will lead to the development of 1800 houses, 2,500 jobs and the provision of nine hectares of employment land in the area.

Visions for the future

Ambitious plans to double Dorset’s economy and create 80,000 jobs were among the key aims highlighted at Dorset LEP’s annual business conference 2019.

The conference was led by Dorset LEP (DLEP) director Lorna Carver and included Chair Jim Stewart and Professor Nigel Jump, of Bournemouth University, who presented Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) research.

Lorna Carver hosted an interactive voting session posing questions on how to boost Dorset’s economy. The presentation continued to showcase exciting proposals to capitalise on the county’s rich potential for aquaculture.

Other talking points featured an update about the Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Cultural Enquiry to shape a long term vision for the area and the re-launch of LEP’s Dorset Ambassadors scheme to champion the county.

To read more about this and other news stories from Dorset LEP visit https://dorsetlep.co.uk/media-centre/