‘Growth Sector Development’ is one of several priorities being spearheaded by the Council’s Economic and Community Ambition (ECA) Board, with the Economic and Business Development Team taking a lead on delivery. It is part of the Council’s long term strategy to develop a higher-value, higher-wage economy that helps increase household incomes.
So what is meant by ‘Growth Sectors’? In this instance, the Council is referring to those sectors which are growing exponentially within the UK but also those that offer high-value employment opportunities. These include, advanced manufacturing, biotechnology/life-sciences, green energy, agro-technology, food technology and creative industries to list but a few. Taking life-sciences for example, as an emerging sector, it is currently worth an estimated £60bn a year to the UK economy and supports over 220,000 jobs.
Based on local and wider research the ECA Board has prioritised advanced manufacturing and bio-technology/life-sciences sectors (though still actively engaging with other growth sectors.) as they are most likely to meet the aims of delivering high value businesses and jobs. The fact that a small number of these types of firms already exist in Denbighshire helps form a credible springboard for further development.
Key themes within the councils growth sector work programme include:
- Working with indigenous Advanced Manufacturing and Biotechnology incubator firms
- Reviewing provision of commercial units jointly for Advanced Manufacturing and Biotechnology & Life Sciences sectors
- Undertaking targeted marketing and engagement exercises
- Removing barriers for growth
- Highlighting the need for skills development of the local/regional workforce in line with the needs of the Advanced Manufacturing sector
- Creating a more attractive business environment
The first step has been to better understand the infrastructure needs for these sectors, work which is expected to be completed by mid-August 2016. This will clarify what the Council can do to improve land and premises in particular, but also highlight the potential for growth within local businesses and ways in which this can be supported.
For further information on our work to develop Growth Sectors please contact James Evans, Lead Officer for Inward Investment and High Growth.