Date Published: 12 May 2021
The five year plan that sets out how Lincolnshire will recover from the Covid pandemic fits in well with the ambitions of North Kesteven District Council.
The authority’s Executive Board was told that Lincolnshire took much longer than the national average to recover from the recession in 2008 and a new Greater Lincolnshire Covid Recovery Plan has been developed to stop that happening again by transforming the county’s economy, recognising changing consumer behaviour and maximising market incentives.
In its emphasis to ‘build back better’ the Council is equally committed to marry economic advancement with its clearly stated ambition to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2030; pledging through its economic priority ‘to enable all our communities to flourish as part of the economic recovery from Covid-19 as well as through the opportunities of the green economy.’
Leader of NKDC, Cllr Richard Wright said: “In carrying out all this work we will also continue to focus on more environmentally friendly modes of transport and providing the right digital infrastructure to allow remote working to take advantage of changing consumer behaviour.
“We want to advance innovation and upgrade business whilst recognising that wealth without health is meaningless. We’re already expressing that through the way we are envisaging the £56m expansion of business opportunities at the Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park where eco-credentials are at the core of the masterplan through enhancements to biodiversity, carbon capture, energy efficiency and generation and other initiatives mutually beneficial to environmental, economic and personal wellbeing.”
The strategy also recognises the need to respond to key global issues like climate change, BREXIT and heightened international tensions around the rise of China as an economic superpower.
The strategy aims to see the county prosper by developing the visitor economy, boosting health and care and working on the defence and agri-food sectors.
The work also focuses on logistics – particularly ports and industrial decarbonisation. The five year outputs in the report concentrate on reducing CO2 emissions, reversing the decline in manufacturing and reducing unemployment and vacancy rates.
Cllr Wright said: “Our district council has a solid record of taking action to support the local economy. Our work on developing the Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park, expanding workshop provision to Discovery Court in North Hykeham and proposed regeneration projects like the Heart of Sleaford proposals are clear examples of commitment by North Kesteven District Council.”
The authority recognises that businesses have been hit by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns which have been particularly hard on the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors which are all very important to the North Kesteven economy.
“As a Council we have always sought to support businesses as witnessed by our Rates Relief Scheme and Top 50 business engagement programme to support growth and expansion and we have also supported small businesses and the start up community through a dedicated business advisor post supporting 200-plus businesses in recent months and the diligent administration of £28m in business grants over the past year.
“We were also the first authority in Lincolnshire to declare a climate emergency and that is why the focus on recovery and development of the economy is welcomed with the emphasis on taking into account environmental factors which we strongly endorse,” said Cllr Wright.