Friday’s Nottingham Partners event, we introduced the Nottingham Growth Board to our members.
We were pleased to welcome the Chair of the Nottingham Growth Board, Nick Ebbs, and the Chair of Nottingham One, Kevin Shakesheff to outline the work being done by the Growth Board to plan the economic recovery and renewal strategy for the city. The Growth Board acts as an advisory board to Nottingham City Council and features members from key stakeholders of the city to work with and advise the council. There are currently 20 organisations on the board but Nick stressed that this is not a final board and that they are keen to welcome new organisations and members.
Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, Cllr Sally Longford introduced the council’s role in setting up the Nottingham Growth Board.
Cllr Sally Longford laid out NCC’s reasons for setting up the Nottingham Growth Board to bring together all key organisations and businesses from across the city to create an advisory board to the City Council on economic matters. Cllr Longford outlined how since the outbreak of COVID-19 the Growth Board has become even more crucial to the recovery of the city. Nottingham has been hit hard by the outbreak with unemployment in the city increasing by 100% and with 40,000 people in the city furloughed. The aim of the Growth Board is to enable Nottingham to bounce back from this. Cllr Longford mentioned how the council are currently lobbying the government hard for extra funding to ensure the money spent on tackling the COVID-19 crisis is regained and to help them keep struggling businesses afloat.
The board was initially set up in late 2019 with the intention of having quarterly board meetings to develop a City Centre Strategy, a new City Vision and Narrative and with the potential to create a City Growth Company. However, since the outbreak of COVID, the board now meet monthly and focus on responding to the impact of the pandemic on the local economy, and producing the City’s Economic Recovery & Renewal plan which is a collaboration between the City Council, Nottingham Growth Board and One Nottingham.
Kevin Shakesheff, the Chair of One Nottingham then laid out the work done by One Nottingham and their role assisting with the Growth Board. One Nottingham is the strategic partnership for Nottingham, working across the public, private and voluntary sectors to improve the city with a diverse membership, working with youth groups, faith groups, BAME representatives, charities and SMEs as well as the universities.
Kevin and Nick laid out the economic challenges faced by Nottingham, mentioning that 30% of all people employed in Nottingham were furloughed in June with a potential for unemployment in the city to rise to 17% by the end of the year. COVID has accelerated trends evident before the crisis such as a decline in high street retail and the development of digital technology in working from home. The Growth Board will tackle these issues in their recovery plan whilst recognising that “Nottingham has significant strengths, a creative DNA and a “can do” spirit that will enable us to build back better.”
The Growth Board’s vision is to reimagine the city of Nottingham in order to creatively build a green, digital future – reshaping the local economy so that Nottingham becomes:
- An internationally renowned city of culture, creativity & innovation
- The UK’s first carbon-neutral city
- A city which offers opportunities for everyone
They are focusing on six key ambitions to deliver their vision, which are:
- City of Creativity & Culture
- Reimagining the City
- Carbon Neutral City
- Digital Enterprise
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Skills & Employment
To find out what is covered by the boards of each ambition, see the slides from our event, here.
Each of the six ambitions has Board Champions who are working closely with One Nottingham Board members and calling on a range of expertise outside the two Boards. To be put in touch with any of the Board Champions, please email Peter Davies-Bright via Peter.Davies-Bright@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
We are delighted to be able to give our members a first look at the pre-released draft Nottingham Economic Renewal Plan which will shape the economic strategies for the future of our city before the official draft consultation document is published later this month. The Growth Board are currently finalising the plan to publish for consultation, which will open later this month.
Members will receive an email with the plan, if you are a member and are not on our mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org