Thurrock Council's roadmap for recovery, resilience, and growth has been agreed by Cabinet (Wednesday March 10).
The 'Backing Thurrock Strategy and Action Plan' sets out actions that will help the council to strengthen and grow the economy through supporting major strategic projects such as the Thames Freeport, improving skills within the workforce, helping businesses to become more productive and competitive and delivering economic infrastructure. It is therefore a key element of the council's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alongside the Local Plan, Backing Thurrock will form the strategic framework to drive the borough’s return to growth as we exit the pandemic, and has been developed in collaboration with public, private, and voluntary sector organisations.
A strong economy will be shaped where residents and businesses are helped to focus on their strengths and adapt to take advantage of new opportunities such as the Thames Freeport as growth resumes. Priorities include green growth, continued investment in broadband and helping the most vulnerable in the community tackle issues, develop their skills and find work.
Cllr Mark Coxshall, Cabinet member for regeneration and strategic planning, said: "This strategy will form the cornerstone of Thurrock's recovery from the economic impact of the pandemic and return to good growth that benefits residents, businesses, and the borough as a whole. Last week's very welcome Thames Freeport announcement will be a driving force for long-term recovery, bringing with it countless opportunities for residents to retrain, up-skill, and more than 25,000 new jobs in sectors that haven’t previously operated in Thurrock.
"We will need to work together with partners across the borough to develop new thinking, new ideas, and new approaches to strengthen and grow our economy so that it is sustainable and inclusive as we lead the economic recovery after the deep impact COVID-19 has had on not only our borough but the entire nation. It is only through doing this and striving to make Thurrock a resilient borough with a strong plan in place for economic recovery that we can successfully harness the new opportunities coming our way – and through this contribute to the well-being of everyone in our community."
The Backing Thurrock Action Plan will be a live document that will adapt as new opportunities arise, actions are implemented and new ideas and initiatives are developed.