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Delivering sustainable growth as the route to Covid-19 recovery

By Dan Teuton
22 March 2021
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Unlocking our region’s economic potential by investing in its high-growth knowledge-based industries and focusing on skills to get people into good jobs and long-term employment are among the key areas for action and investment identified in Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership’s Economic Recovery Action Plan.

The evidence-based Revive & Renew action plan will address the challenges of economic recovery post Covid-19, and highlights promising opportunities for transformation and renewal in many aspects of the area’s economy.

The Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (EM3) is a business-led partnership, which brings together private, public and not-for-profit sector organisations across west Surrey and most of the county of Hampshire to determine local economic priorities and undertake activities which drive economic growth and productivity through innovation, job creation, improved infrastructure and increased workforce skills.

EM3 chair Dave Axam said: “The Enterprise M3 area, its businesses and its people are at the forefront of the UK’s economic strength. We have strong foundations but we all know that Covid-19 has shaken our foundations as well as those of the global economy.

“However, as the Covid-19 virus re-set our economy, EM3 has re-set its priorities, putting even greater emphasis on initiatives which support the move to carbon net zero, the impact of artificial intelligence and technology and the need to equip people with the skills and re-skilling required to deliver inclusive growth.”

The Revive and Renew plan, published towards the end of 2020, is already delivering on its pledges, supporting Covid-secure town centres, driving growth in the low-carbon economy and supporting skills development to help people into good jobs.

The plan has the backing of local businesses. Lynne Copp, managing director of the Worklife Company, who attended a recent workshop on Revive and Renew said: “Again EM3 is at the heart of business in our region.

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Revive and Renew not only provides a platform for critical review of the current challenges, but also provides great thought leadership, innovation and a beacon of hope for all of us who are striving to renew and grow.“

Paul Cole, co-founder of PowerQuad, added: “The LEP is there to answer the difficult questions and to drive clean growth. It’s thrilling to see this taking shape for 2021 and beyond.”

Revive and Renew is available, along with a short executive summary and all the evidence on which it is based, on the Enterprise M3 website – enterprisem3.org.uk.

 

EM3 investment case studies

Investing in future skills to drive economic growth

The EM3-funded Innovation South Virtual Campus has launched a range of free online courses to help employers fill digital skills gaps in their businesses for free.

ISVC’s skills-focused, bite-sized range of programmes have been designed to upskill and re-skill employees in businesses big and small – all without a cost to them or their employees.

More information is available here.

EM3 has also recently invested in the south’s first eSports (electronic sports) training facility at Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke and supported the development of a dedicated space at Havant and South Downs College Alton campus, to enable students to work and collaborate in the ways that developers do in the industry. And last month the EM3 Apprenticeship and Skills Hub was launched following a £1.5 million investment by the LEP, with a focus on technical skills.

Investing in sustainable future towns

One of EM3’s key investments in the drive to net zero has been almost £3m in funding towards a new Future Towns Innovation Hub at the University of Southampton Science Park where leading academics will collaborate with businesses and the region’s towns to develop low-carbon and sustainable engineering and technology innovations to create happier, healthier, and more prosperous places to live and work.

The project will focus on addressing challenges of energy efficient housing, water conservation, sustainable transport, carbon neutral waste management and recycling, and improving health outcomes.

enterprisem3.org.uk

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