Local economic recovery planning in Essex County Council

Essex County Council are approaching recovery with a renewed focus on sustainable economic development. The Council have taken the decision to both create a new £100m fund to invest in economic recovery. They have also boosted their own investment capacity and capability by establishing a new multi-disciplinary growth and recovery team.


A photograph of Essex countryside

Essex County Council are approaching recovery with a renewed focus on sustainable economic development. The Council have taken the decision to both create a new £100m fund to invest in economic recovery. They have also boosted their own investment capacity and capability by establishing a new multi-disciplinary growth and recovery team.

Whilst putting an emphasis on economic growth and recovery as the priority after Covid, the Council is approaching recovery from a wider public health perspective, recognising that employment and skills are wider determinants of health and other service demands. Therefore, investment in an employment led recovery is a proactive approach to delivering benefits and reduce future longer term cost pressures across public services. The new Economic Development team reflects this with Public Health expertise embedded within it.

The Council are adopting a more flexible, risk tolerant approach to investment, recognising the need to maintain capital investment to mitigate the risk of deeper reductions in economic activity. But also to balance investment across more deprived areas as well as areas with higher potential commercial returns. They aim to deliver a broader return of economic and financial benefits in the long term, through supporting regeneration and levelling up within Essex.

This strategic approach to investment has strong backing from the Council’s political leadership. There is a clear framework in place and significant delegation to officers alongside investment in capacity and capability to enable swift and flexible approaches to be taken. The Fund and team will be able to respond to investment opportunities, as the short term and longer term structural consequences of the pandemic become clearer – for example the future of high streets and an acceleration of a shift from retail to residential, as well as green industries such as retrofitting buildings.