Agenda item


The Committee gave consideration to a report presenting the Draft Economic Recovery Plan for the District. It was explained that the plan set out a summary of the actions taken during the pandemic to support businesses within the district, which included overseeing the distribution of £32 million to over 1800 businesses. The plan set a medium to long term vision for recovery and inclusive growth, building and supporting the delivery of the Greater Lincolnshire revival plan.


Members heard that economic indicators had continued to be monitored through the shared Greater Lincolnshire Covid 19 dashboard, and this intelligence had been used to drive action through the pandemic and to support plans for recovery. Significant business intelligence, gained through many one to one discussions with businesses over the past 18 months, had also been used to focus actions. Feedback had included


·         Desire for more frequent and digital communications

·         The need for easily accessible training and business advice

·         Support for locally led interventions such as think local and shop local

·         A desire for advertising and marketing at a local level to drive footfall into our town centres


It was highlighted that, the approach taken was built on evidence and business intelligence, working with partners across the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, Growth Hub, LEP and wider Greater Lincolnshire authorities. The recovery plan covered what were considered to be key pre and post Covid economic challenges, as well as global challenges such as climate change and ‘Brexit’. Focus had been placed on place-based investment and heritage led regeneration as well developing the narrative for stronger ‘rural inclusive’ levelling up across rural communities.


This had led to 6 key priority areas for future recovery, these being:


·         Green recovery

·         Business environment

·         Regeneration and levelling up

·         Key sector development

·         Infrastructure (Physical and Digital)

·         Supporting People and Skills


Members were asked to consider that the supporting action plan set out how work would be implemented and delivered against these priorities. This would form the programme of work over the next two years, as well as being used to support the full refresh of the Economic Growth strategy by 2024.


The Chairman thanked the Assistant Direct for Planning and Regeneration for her comprehensive explanation of the plan and invited Members of the Committee to comment.


A Member of the Committee noted the importance of working with smaller local businesses in rural areas as well as those larger town-based businesses, and highlighted that it may not always be possible for smaller businesses to engage with daytime support sessions, making the suggestion that they be held as recorded webinars for businesses to access as and when it was suitable for them. It was highlighted that there was work planned in conjunction with the rural network in order to reach those more rural businesses, as well as specialist business advisor for further support. Additionally, it was explained that the sessions were available online and so that message would need to be re-iterated to business owners. It was agreed for a list of the businesses who had signed up to the ‘think local’ list to be shared with Members.


It was noted that, for a business owner, time really was money and so application processes for grants and financial support needed to be clear and concise, in order to make it worthwhile to undertake the application process. It was highlighted that the application was usually a part of a wider business support package and accessed through the business support advisor, making the process as worthwhile, clear and simple as possible.


Members were supportive of the planned approach and, having been moved and seconded, it was unanimously


            RESOLVED that:


a)    the West Lindsey draft Economic Recovery Plan and Action Plan be approved; and


b)    an annual update on progress and performance against the agreed action plan be received by Members; and


c)    the key themes and guiding principles of the Economic Recovery Plan be used to form the basis of the review of the Economic Growth Strategy (due by 2024).

Supporting documents: