Bold vision for area aims to create 30,000 new jobs
PUBLISHED: 07:30 25 November 2019
Around 30,000 new jobs could be created in north Essex as part of a new blueprint for the area's future economic growth.
With the population set to grow by 24%, community leaders and experts from four councils are working together on a range of initiatives to address potential problems and challenges for business and help make the area stronger.
Council leaders have described the project as ambitious and a "strong and bold vision" which they are determined to put in place.
Braintree, Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford councils, in partnership with Essex County Council, have put together the North Essex Economic Strategy.
It will cover the area stretching from Stansted Airport and the M11 in the west, via Braintree and Colchester to Clacton and Harwich International Port in the east, and run from 2020 to 2040.
The authorities say the aim is to deal with "key challenges and opportunities" over that period and create 30,000 new jobs for a growing population.
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The plan takes account of the predicted population growth across North Essex and the changes in industries and companies starting up, growing and relocating across the area.
In the 20 years to 2018 the area's population grew by almost 20% to 580,000. Between 2018 and 2045 it is estimated this will increased again by around 139,000.
David King, Colchester Borough Council's cabinet member for business and resources, said: "Colchester and the rest of North Essex is a key area for economic growth, but to realise the benefits we must all work together to ensure we are fully able to rise to the challenges and opportunities, to bring prosperity and good jobs to our residents.
"We all have a shared ambition to promote, plan and deliver sustainable strategic growth at scale over the long-term while providing the housing, jobs and infrastructure needed to ensure the best outcomes for North Essex now and for future generations.
"The Board have developed a strong and bold vision for North Essex for the next 20 years and beyond. This strategy is designed to drive innovation and technology adoption, up-skill our local workforce, create a network of distinctive, cohesive communities and make our economy greener and more sustainable."
With the growing importance and need to build a greener more sustainable economy, the strategy looks to address the change in the skills, infrastructure and technologies needed to support them.
The strategy looks to build on North Essex's location and its connections locally, regionally and internationally, but also the current skill base and community networks across the area.