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£400m bid to improve Gloucestershire's economy

By BHawes  |  Posted: January 10, 2014

Diane Savory

Diane Savory of GFirst LEP

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By Bev Hawes

The economic partnership GFirst LEP has unveiled details of its bid for £400 million in Government funding to drive the county's economy.

Working in partnership with the public and private sector, the draft Strategic Economic Plan was submitted last month. It outlines ambitious growth targets to increase the prosperity of the county with investment projects to help start-ups grow, maximise the connections and opportunities of the motorway corridor and support businesses and develop essential skills.

Underpinning the plan are three core initiatives:

A growth hub will integrate the work of GFirst LEP, the University of Gloucestershire and partner organisations in providing support services for business.

A growth zone will unlock the economic prosperity of the county by providing space for business expansion by ensuring the availability of employment land in good locations in the county with the necessary transport infrastructure.

To meet the unprecedented expansion of nuclear and low carbon energy and engineering in the county, a centre of excellence will be created for renewable energy, engineering and nuclear skills at the now decommissioned Berkeley nuclear power station. This includes a skills development and training centre for renewable energy, engineering and nuclear skills. Dr Diane Savory, chairman of GFirst LEP said: "My aim has always been to develop what is, in effect, a business plan for growth for the county and I'm delighted that the draft SEP does exactly this. The plan has been produced in consultation with the business community and like any good business plan, it has ambition and drive, stretching goals, and supporting evidence to satisfy the most testing of challenges."

For full details of the plan visit www.gfirstlep.com

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