An update on the Econ-versation.
Between January and April this year, Durham County Council held an Econ-versation with businesses, residents, and other stakeholders to support the development of a new Inclusive Economic Strategy.
This involved meeting with business groups, area action partnerships, local colleges and schools, Durham University, the NHS and Government bodies, voluntary and community organisations, young people, and regional partners and attended a range of jobs fairs and local community meetings across County Durham. Comments were received by email, post, and telephone as well as online surveys and surveys in community venues.
Overall, Durham County Council received more than 1,400 completed surveys, spoke to more than 1,500 people and organisations in more than 80 meetings and events during the conversation. The responses have provided a wealth of feedback which will be used for the Economic Strategy and for a range of strategies and investment plans over the coming years. Some of the key messages were:
- Poverty to be reduced and quality of life to be improved
- Better job opportunities
- Better skills and education provision
- Support for businesses to thrive and grow
- Town centres and neighbourhoods to be revived
- Better access to training, jobs, and local services
- More visitors and investment
Over the coming months Durham County Council will develop the draft strategy with the County Durham Economic Partnership, which includes a wide range of partners and stakeholders. A series of face-to-face meetings and workshops will be used to test ideas with partners and public volunteers. A short public consultation in September will offer a further chance to get involved. That feedback and this process will help us to identify issues and opportunities in different communities and shape how the council will deliver priorities and actions with partners.
The new Economic Strategy will fit with other countywide and local strategies as well as those at regional and national levels and will be used to help bid for funding and attract business investment. Once the strategy is completed, Durham County Council will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to develop and update action plans, investment plans, and refresh the strategy from time to time.
We will provide updates as they arise.
For more information about the County Durham Economic Partnership, please visit: https://countydurhampartnership.co.uk/economic-partnership/about-us/