Helping the local economy recover
Councillors have approved an updated strategy to help the local economy recover from the impact of Brexit and the pandemic while dealing with the ongoing challenges of the cost of living crisis.
At the full Council meeting on Tuesday councillors endorsed the findings of a new report on which the refreshed economic strategy will be focused.
The report found: “Midlothian, along with the rest of Scotland and the UK, has been profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and by Brexit. These events have caused macro-economic shocks that are likely to have an ongoing impact upon Midlothian’s economy, in the short, medium- and longer-term future, and the full impacts are still to materialise over the next few years.
“Coupled with the cost of living crisis, increasing energy costs, rising inflation and a forecast recession, the economic outlook is one of significant uncertainty, and much more challenging conditions for many businesses in both the service and industrial economy are expected.”
Work to safeguard against impacts
Councillors agreed at the meeting Midlothian will work to safeguard against many of the impacts.
The ten strategic priorities agreed are:
- Supporting business and employment growth. Tailored solutions could be, for example, simplified planning zones to support business growth.
- Providing business premises
- Reimaging and regenerating town centres
- Enhancing Infrastructure to make it easier for different areas to connect. For example by improving transport corridors
- Building resilience and community wealth by taking steps such as developing local supply chains
- Focusing on skills and employability
- Supporting the transition to net zero for example green energy housing projects
- Inward investment and developing Midlothian’s proposition to raise the profile of the area and highlight its benefits to prospective businesses.
- Operating in a different funding regime by, for example, making sure Midlothian has the resources to successfully compete for funding streams such as the Government’s levelling up money.
- Tackling inequality