Skip Navigation Links
15 April 2019

Dorset businesses have their say on Local Industrial Strategy

Dorset businesses have their say on Local Industrial Strategy

Companies and organisations across Dorset have started to have their say on a wide-ranging consultation on the county’s economic future.  

Three business breakfasts hosted by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) are the latest stage in plans to shape growth and prosperity through a Local Industrial Strategy.

Representatives of sectors including manufacturing, tourism, finance, the creative industries and education attended the events, held in Bournemouth, Shaftesbury and Dorchester.

The strategy is intended to help maximise long-term economic opportunities and create jobs while addressing barriers to growth.

Speaking at the Bournemouth event, LEP Director Lorna Carver said: “We are in a competitive environment with LEPs around the country bidding for government funding so we need to articulate a distinct vision for Dorset. What do we want to be known for?

“Our consultation is designed to ensure that the content of the Local Industrial Strategy reflects what businesses across the county want and need.”

As well as presentations, the events featured panel debates involving LEP Board members taking questions from the floor. 

Jim Stewart, LEP Chair, said: “We’re asking businesses and partner organisations to tell us what they think about the challenges and opportunities we face, how best to attract and retain talented people and how to make access to investment easier.

“The more we can identify what is unique to Dorset, the more we can influence the level of government funding that comes our way.

“We could be a ‘California of the UK’, a place with a fantastic natural environment and the power to attract companies to relocate here from the rest of the UK and internationally.”

The events discussed various challenges for Dorset around productivity, infrastructure, house price affordability, climate change, talent retention, social mobility and the ageing population, many of which were identified in a recent LEP survey.

Points from the audience included the importance of consultation with students and younger people, the idea of branding Dorset as ‘well-being’ capital, and the need for more attractive town centres, thinking like a city region.   

LEP Board member Ian Girling, Chief Executive of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, urged more businesses to get involved as the consultation continues.     

Ian said: “With Dorset’s two new local authorities replacing the nine councils we had before, we have a fantastic opportunity to sharpen the county’s decision making, bid for more funding, and create a more unified message and brand. Businesses need to be at the heart of these discussions.”  

More consultation events and opportunities for engagement are to follow ahead of a strategy launch in autumn 2019. 

For further information about the Local Industrial Strategy click here.

Image: L-R Ian Girling, Lorna Carver, Jim Stewart

News

  • #AquaExpo20 inspires Dorset aquaculture
    31 March 2020

    #AquaExpo20 inspires Dorset aquaculture

    The OH20: Aquaculture Expo, hosted by Dorset LEP, took place on 4 March 2020.

  • Business support funding blog: March update
    30 March 2020

    Dorset Gateway Funding Blog

    Research and development grant funding continues and we can provide 40 hours of bid writing support

  • Dorset Investment Prospectus Tender Open
    27 March 2020

    Dorset Investment Prospectus Tender Open

    We are seeking tenders to support the preparation of a Dorset Investment Prospectus.

Click here to view our news archive