Ambitious plans to protect jobs and boost economy

Ambitious new plans to protect jobs and boost the economy following the global pandemic have been announced by North Somerset Council.

The council has agreed strategies to rebuild North Somerset’s economy in a sustainable, resilient way that will make a difference to those negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The new Economic Plan sets out 15 commitments designed to create new jobs, bring in investment, generate opportunities for young people, address North Somerset skills gaps, and look to upskill individuals who are facing redundancy.

One of these key commitments is to launch an Employment and Skills Strategy, focussing on empowering young people to achieve their potential, addressing under-employment and low pay, supporting those with barriers to employment, developing workforce skills for emerging jobs and creating conditions which enable businesses to attract and keep the talent they need.

These plans build on initiatives which have already launched this summer, such as installing outdoor seating in town centres until mid-October to help create space for the public to reconnect post-lockdown and encourage more people to visit town centres.

Ten-year vision for Weston           

A long-term vision for how Weston-super-Mare will grow and change over the next decade has also been unveiled.

The Placemaking Strategy is the result of months of public events, consultation and engagement with thousands of businesses, visitors and residents.

Architecture studio Turner Works worked with the council to build this new strategy, in response to the changing face of the High Street.

Coronavirus is accelerating fundamental changes in town centres and so, now more than ever, there is a need to encourage people back to the High Street.

Earlier in the year Turner Works ran a number of public events under the Super Weston initiative, finding out about the history of the town, what people would like to see, and asking for wish lists and ideas.

The themes of this Placemaking Strategy include wellbeing and recreation, the town being green and low carbon, a great place to live, work and study, and, critically, helping the visitor economy and town centre adjust to fundamental changes accelerated by coronavirus.

Last month the council received a £1.7m government grant to repurpose empty vacant retail space in the town centre.