Ambitious plans to create thousands of new jobs, slash carbon emissions and build more than 100,000 new homes have been revealed as part of a plan to revolutionise North Yorkshire’s economy.
An industrial strategy blueprint, seen by The Yorkshire Post, has been pulled together by business leaders to shape the next 20 years of productivity and growth in the region.
The York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) wants to target three key priorities for the region’s future, centred around improving productivity, unlocking constrained growth and transforming the region into a carbon neutral economy.
Read more: All today's Yorkshire business news
It says that £5.9bn-worth of investment into low carbon technology and infrastructure has the potential to create 32,000 ‘job years’ and a 40 per cent cut in carbon emissions. The ‘job years’ reflects that many of these jobs will be involved in the construction of 100,000 new homes over the next 20 years.
In addition the LEP is looking to fill 4,000 jobs currently vacant owing to skills shortages.
LEP chairman David Kerfoot told The Yorkshire Post that he wanted North Yorkshire to form a “huge rural powerhouse” that would be a crucial part of the wider Yorkshire and Northern economy.
The LEP is now looking to both the public and business leaders to help flesh out the plan which will take the form of North Yorkshire’s Local Industrial Strategy and be presented to the Government later in the year.
Read more: Battle to save the Yorkshire Dales
Mr Kerfoot said: “A real win would be for the Government to accept that the rural region like ours is going to get its fair share of the spoils.
“We want them to recognise that we are a diverse and different region and that as such it is a lot different. We want a fair share of the funding that we deserve.”
However the LEP said it did not want to just rely on public sector investment.
It is looking at new ways of stimulating private investment into the region through clean growth technologies which it claims can typically pay back investment within 10 years.
And Mr Kerfoot said the natural landscapes of the region would allow it to replicate successful models seen elsewhere in leading countries.
He said: “If you go to Germany or the USA, wherever you have successful regional economy, around it is a rural hinterland that provides food, water, energy and flood prevention to that city region. That is what we do and that is what we provide.
“Ultimately in the long term we are going to be One Yorkshire and we want to have a huge rural powerhouse to be a really strong, enabling, dynamic and ambitious part of that One Yorkshire.”