West of England welcomes UK Industrial Strategy
The West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership have welcomed today’s UK Industrial Strategy, particularly the emphasis on devolution and the role of regional mayors in delivering economic growth.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “Our region is perfectly positioned to develop and deliver a regional industrial strategy; we’re already engaging with business and other stakeholders to develop a strategy that delivers inclusive growth for all.
“The Industrial Strategy clearly recognises the importance of places and prosperous communities. In the West of England we know our businesses, key sectors, the skills that are needed, and the challenges we face in terms of infrastructure. We are the right place to make the decisions.”
“We are already thinking about how we address the ‘grand challenges’ identified in the Industrial Strategy. We are developing an energy strategy, which will maximise the advantages of a shift towards clean growth, and a digital strategy, which will ensure that our region remains at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution.”
Professor Steve West, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to secure the region’s continuing and ambitious economic success. Businesses and universities are at the heart of developing our regional industrial strategy – we need to continue to lead in innovation and remain a region where businesses want to start up and grow.
“The Industrial Strategy includes increased support for the construction, artificial intelligence, and automotive sectors and acknowledges that a creative sector deal is in advanced discussion. These are all sectors that are vibrant in the West of England and important to our economy. I was also pleased to see confirmation of continued commitment to funding for Growth Hubs, which play a vital role in supporting businesses.”
The West of England’s draft strategy has three principal areas of focus that are clearly in line with the five foundations of productivity in the government’s Industrial Strategy:
- Businesses that succeed
- World class skills for employment
- Infrastructure fit for the future