Agenda item

Local Economic Recovery Planning


The Group Manager – Economy, Natural Resources and Sustainability presented a report whichsought agreement to commence a process of Local Economic Recovery Planning, put in place a Bridgend County Economic Task Force and to identify the funding available to support an ‘Economic Futures Fund’.


He reported that as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent nationwide ‘lockdown’ many restrictions have been in place in relation to the functioning of society and the economy.  He stated that the Welsh Government National Framework ‘Unlocking our Society and Economy’ set out a clear and structured methodology for considering options in relation to transitioning the economy and society from the current restrictions in place.  He informed Cabinet that the situation the County Borough finds itself in is unprecedented, with constant change is occurring at a significant pace, guidance from UK and Welsh Governments is evolving with the situation and will continue to do so over the coming months and potentially years.  He stated that the Council has played a key role in facilitating, coordinating and leading the necessary arrangements for dealing with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on communities and businesses. 


He reported that a process of Local Economic Recovery Planning set against this context presented a wide range of challenges, whilst BCBC and its partners had so far worked collaboratively to deliver a wide range of responses to the coronavirus outbreak much of this has been as short term reactions.  The ability to react would still be required, coupled with a proactive longer term approach towards Local Economic Recovery Planning and this approach would be linked to the Council’s broader approach towards holistic Recovery Planning. 


He outlined a proposal for the process of Local Economic Recovery Planning commence by putting in place:


·         A Bridgend County Economic Task Force

·         An economic engagement programme

·         A specific ring-fenced budget to support these activities – The Economic Futures Fund.


The Task Force would be chaired by the Leader and will build on and add value to action undertaken by the UK and Welsh Government and the Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) City Deal and be positioned to best secure funding and opportunities for Bridgend by identifying and putting in place the specific and locally focused measures needed to support the County’s residents and businesses in the short, medium and long-term.  He stated that the task force will develop an economic plan for the future of the County Borough which will include action to help businesses adapt to the changing economic landscape and improve resilience, as well as support for residents to develop new skills, training and employment opportunities.  Work will be aligned with and feed in to the Council’s Strategic Recovery Planning group.  He informed Cabinet that the implementation of the task force prioritised actions and the delivery of the future economic plan will be supported by an Economic Futures Fund of £1.687 million.  He stated that when external funds are offered, these will not be accepted until the Section 151 Officer and Chief Officer – Legal, HR and Regulatory Services are satisfied that BCBC can comply will all associated terms, conditions and legal requirements and grant procedure rules of BCBC.


The Cabinet Member Education and Regeneration in commending the proposals thanked the Group Manager – Economy, Natural Resources and Sustainability and team for the support they have provided to local businesses.  The Leader also thanked the team for the way in which they had been responsive to businesses and he hoped the Economic Futures Fund will lever in investment.


RESOLVED:           That Cabinet


  • Approved the creation of a Bridgend County Economic Task Force to be chaired by the Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council;
  • Approved the development of an economic engagement programme;

Noted that capital approvals from the Economic Futures Fund would be subject to Council approval for inclusion in the Capital Programme.

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