Gloucestershire's Apprenticeship Champions 2019

GFirst LEP CEO David Owen - County must future-proof its infrastructure

GFirst LEP on track to deliver £500m investment in Gloucestershire’s future

A record 400 delegates attended the seventh annual review by Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, GFirst LEP, at Hartpury University. The cross-section of business leaders was shown how they can engage with the LEP to help future-proof the county's economy - and given a taste of what advancing technology has in store. The chair of GFirst LEP, Dr Diane Savory OBE, and chief executive David Owen used the huge arena at Hartpury to deliver the progress report. Dr Savory said that, over the next 12 months, the Local Enterprise Partnership wanted direct input from business leaders to build "an aspirational Local Industrial Strategy. "This will lead to our next round of bids and funding, following Brexit with the creation of the UK Shared

Prosperity Fund." David Owen said: "This year we have seen a flurry of projects come to fruition across Gloucestershire, as well as the expansion of our Growth Hub service across the county. "GFirst LEP continues to be one of the top performing Local Enterprise Partnerships in the country, supported by incredible enthusiasm from business." But Mr Owen said Gloucestershire still had five big economic challenges remaining. These are: • To build more houses • To provide a good supply of quality employment land • Closing the gap between skills supply and economic demand • Ensuring economic growth benefits the whole county

8 | December 2018 | www. punchline-gloucester .com

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