by Steve Sawyer, Executive Director, Manor Royal BID

It’s pink and it’s loud – and why not. There is a lot to be proud of about the Coast to Capital LEP area so it’s right that the new Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) should make a bit of a splash.


But there’s a serious implied message in the striking colour about grabbing the attention of Government in a bid to make sure the businesses and the places in which they operate gets the investment they need.


It won’t be easy.


Our part of the world can be seen to doing okay and other parts of the country, like the Northern Powerhouse, are a ahead of the game in terms of profile. Add to the fact the Coast to Capital area hasn’t experienced the same rate of growth as nearby areas and the SEP becomes an even more important document.


It’s a complex, diverse area and no doubt different towns and places will have different priorities. The SEP does a decent job of juggling that while deliberately not setting out to be all things to all people. I like that about it. And I like that it’s short and to the point. It could so easily have become 150 pages of bland verbiage. It isn’t.


For us in Manor Royal Business District there’s enough for us to be interested and think the LEP has a role and can be of use to us. Transport, facilities, attracting talent, building a low carbon future, unlocking commercial space, understanding the importance of “place” and raising the profile. Yes, yes, yes and yes.


Now for the fun part. How we can work with the LEP to help make these things happen and how can the LEP work with us to solve the challenges we face?


A bit like the Coast to Capital LEP area we, the Manor Royal Business District, is doing alright. It’s performing well, there’s a superb array of businesses and it’s playing an important role in contributing to the productivity of the wider economic area.


However, we still have challenges we need to face and we’re going to need help doing it. We can’t be complacent about the future and, the Manor Royal BID, has a plan and a will to see it through. It seems, with the publication of the Strategic Economic Plan, the LEP is in the same place. Great.


I’m looking forward to this loud document making a big noise in the years ahead. 

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