Single economic strategy to recognise county’s diversity

County Hall, Northallerton. Photo: LDRS.

North Yorkshire Council has unveiled a proposed economic growth strategy in which actions will be targeted to unblock hurdles to business in the county’s contrasting areas, such as the coast, larger urban sprawls, rural locations and market towns.

North Yorkshire Council’s leadership says local government reorganisation has offered up “a once in a generation opportunity” to embed a new approach to supporting economic growth in North Yorkshire.

The authority’s proposed Economic Growth Strategy, which will first be considered by the council’s Transport, Economy, Environment and Enterprise scrutiny committee on Monday (July 10), has been drawn up to recognise the area’s unique scale and character and reflect the diversity of its component parts.

The document states: “This Economic Growth Strategy is a key milestone, marking an exciting new phase for our economy.

“One where we take the lead on tackling some of the big economic challenges of our time such as net zero and energy security, and harness our strengths to combine accelerated economic growth with a carbon negative economy and outstanding quality of life.”

The document states the proposed strategy would provide business, investors, and other partners with a clear sense of North Yorkshire’s growth ambitions.

It adds: “These can only be achieved by partners from all of these groups working together in partnership to realise our collective ambitions for this great place.”

A final round of consultations, to be completed this month, is focusing on feedback from elected members, council bosses, and key external stakeholders to ensure the strategy aligns closely with other council strategies and plans for the new mayoral combined authority to be launched next year.

Councillor Derek Bastiman, the authority’s executive member for Open to Business, said the launch of the England’s third largest unitary authority in April had presented a chance for a strategy that would not have been possible with seven different district council strategies.

He said: “I am quite excited as this document will benefit the whole of North Yorkshire.

“When there were seven different district authorities the boundaries did not give the ease and freedom to deliver a strategy targeting specific areas like this

He said it was important north-south A1 corridor and east-west A59 and A64 corridor connectivity was identified as it would be the driving force for the economy of the county.

Coun Bastiman said: “We must not take our eyes off what the market towns and larger villages, along with what smaller picture postcard coastal villages offer us.

“It is extremely important we take cognizance of all the area and the peculiarities, and I mean that in the nicest of ways, of such areas are taken into account because we don’t want to leave anybody behind with this. We want to bring people with us and consult all relevant bodies throughout the whole of North Yorkshire.”

Coun Bastiman said he hoped the mayoral combined authority would play a supportive part in what North Yorkshire was trying to achieve.

“We do know the city of York will work with us on it, which is totally important in delivering a cohesive, well thought out plan for the whole of North Yorkshire.”