Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Cabinet Decision: 17th March 2011
Title of Item/Report
Record of the Decision
This report was to introduce the Draft Stockton Enterprise Strategy and to present the proposed vision, aims and priorities of the strategy and outline a plan for current and future actions to achieve that vision.

Members noted that this was the first strategy specifically for enterprise in Stockton. Given the economic climate the Council needed to bring a greater focus on enterprise development and growth to improve the Borough's competitiveness and strengthen the local economy. This Strategy had been prepared during a time of significant change in the organisational and policy landscape for sub-national economic development and regeneration in England. It was crucial during such complex and rapidly changing times that, through this strategy, the Council clearly identified with partners what its priorities were and what action needed to be taken to improve enterprise in the Borough.

A summary of the draft strategy was attached along with the proposed action plan. The full version of the strategy was made available to Members.

Enterprise and the local economy was not constrained by administrative boundaries but worked within a much wider economic and policy framework at a national, regional and sub-regional level. The Council therefore needed to recognise the implications of and seek to reflect those strategic influences within its strategy for the local area. The Strategy for Sustainable Growth (July 2010) produced by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills and the White Paper ‘Local growth: realising every place's potential' (October 2010) set the main context at a national level. Stockton on Tees Borough Council's Enterprise Strategy would contribute to achieving the priorities and outcomes in the Tees Valley Statement of Ambition 2010 and locally link to the Regeneration Strategy and the Local Development Framework.

This strategy promoted and supportsed enterprise. It aimed to develop more new and enable the growth and sustainability of existing businesses. It addressed all aspects of enterprise from the promotion and development of a positive culture of enterprise, encouraging enterprise potential within individuals and groups, the conversion of that potential in to action to start a business, through to the realisation of the opportunities for growth and investment. The strategy was about supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), recognising their importance and the significant contribution as the primary engines driving growth in the local area. This was complemented by the Council's continuing partnership work to secure inward investment across the Tees Valley, recognising that this was an integral and key component of a competitive local economy.

There was a significant gap between Stockton and the national position in terms of enterprise that needs to be addressed. For example there were 4,850 Enterprises in Stockton, which was 314 per 10,000 adult population compared to 467 across Great Britain, the level of self-employment in Stockton is 7.5% compared to 12.7% in Great Britain and the business birth rate in Stockton is 44 per 10,000 adult population compared to 55 nationally.

The Vision for the strategy was that - by 2015 the performance of Stockton exceeds that of the region and closes the enterprise gap with the UK in general. The aim was to increase wealth, income and employment opportunities for Stockton by:

Embedding a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship
Capitalising on the opportunities for business growth
Alleviating barriers to business growth
Linking residents to economic opportunities in the city region

The Strategy set out the key priorities for intervention to address the core barriers to enterprise creation and growth and provides a framework for current and future activity. Twelve priorities were proposed to address barriers associated with our enterprise culture, pre-start and start-up support, support for existing businesses, business accommodation, access to finance, sector development and skills as set out in the summary document which was attached to the report

RESOLVED that the Stockton Enterprise Strategy 2010 -2015 be approved.
Reasons for the Decision
Stockton needs to be a competitive place, one in which businesses and people can succeed and grow, that contributes to a competitive sub-region. The Enterprise Strategy sets out a vision and framework that will help put a competitive enterprise infrastructure in place which is essential to achieving that goal.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on 25 March 2011

Date of Publication: 21 March 2011

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