Before the pandemic hit, Great Yarmouth had well-defined corporate and economic growth strategies in place. The impacts of COVID has reinforced the need for previous plans to be delivered successfully and as such Greater Yarmouth has retained continuity and a clear vision.
Before the pandemic hit, Great Yarmouth had well-defined corporate and economic growth strategies in place. The impact of COVID has reinforced the need for previous plans to be delivered successfully and as such Greater Yarmouth has retained continuity and a clear vision. The council have taken advantage of opportunities to bid for investment funding from central Government, including the High Street fund and the Stronger Towns Fund, which could be deployed directly in line with recovery plans.
Great Yarmouth established inclusive governance when generating initial clarity on their vision, recognising the increased importance for previously identified strategic priorities due to the pandemic and subsequently working collectively to drive progress. Long established inequalities related to health and income were key drivers for the economic plan to respond to. These have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and as a result remain central to recovery planning. The corporate plan outlines four strategic priority areas:
- A strong and growing economy
- Improved housing and strong communities
- High-quality and sustainable environment
- An efficient and effective council
The ‘strong and growing economy’ strategic priority is addressed in the economic growth strategy where four outcomes are identified. These include securing new inward investment in the borough, supporting town centre longevity, improving wage levels and access to better paid jobs and a focus on a thriving visitor economy throughout the year. For each outcome, a set of actions, measures of success and latest progress are recorded within the Economic Growth Action Plan. This is a live document, updated to address new challenges, opportunities, priorities and changes in the operational landscape, and has allowed the council to retain focus on core outcomes whilst pivoting delivery to include COVID challenges.
Great Yarmouth have collaborated effectively with partners and neighbouring districts, notably around data and grant giving during the immediate response phase. The council made use of surveys to track issues of concern for local businesses, LEP data for insight into large employers and sub-regional economic dashboards developed by Norfolk Office of Data Analytics and Suffolk Office of Data Analytics. Cross-district collaboration enabled new designed of grant funding deployment programmes to facilitate quicker decision-making ability and ensure consistency for businesses in the wider area.