Surrey Heath Borough Council is committed to supporting local business. We recognise that our businesses are the core contributors to the prosperity of the Borough. The Council has adopted this Economic Development Strategy to provide the overarching strategy for economic development in Surrey Heath.
Our Economic Development Strategy represents the Council's commitment to the people who live and work here, and also to the businesses that have chosen to base their companies in Surrey Heath.
In preparing this document the Council has recognised the challenge of enabling economic growth whilst also protecting the environment and quality of life in the Borough.
The strategy takes a detailed look at the local economy, its dynamics, performance and prospects - focusing on people, business and place. The analysis highlights the challenging combination of a growing and ageing population with a high but declining employment rate. This is despite having a very well-qualified workforce and a small, but very productive, economy with some large employers including household names and headquarters. The economic profile has identified some recognisable key high technology sectors with strong turnover and productivity prospects and a vibrant micro-business base. It suggests Surrey Heath can play a very active part in Enterprise M3 LEP's ambitions for a Sci:Tech corridor - the local economy matches the LEP's priority sectors very closely. Overall Surrey Heath is a very enterprising place but three to five year survival rates could be better and there are small pockets of unemployment.
In light of the evidence three principal economic objectives were designed and consulted on. These, it is anticipated, will maintain the Borough's competitive and entrepreneurial performance and enhance the quality of place that makes the Borough such a desirable location for businesses, residents and visitors. Surrey Heath will work with stakeholders to create:
(1) A sustainable place to live, work, shop and play: creating the conditions for growth through transformational actions in the town centre and employment sites and associated connectivity investment and measures to stimulate the visitor economy. There are four main areas of activity including:
- Signature regeneration measures to exploit the Borough's growth prospects.
- Planning for the future through the delivery of catalytic major new developments.
- Investing in enhanced internal and external connectivity and sustainable transport infrastructure.
- Activities to stimulate the visitor and creative economy.
(2) A great place for business to flourish: a Borough that's Open for Businesses large and small. There are four key programmes of activity designed to accelerate small, large, new and sectoral business growth respectively:
- A small business growth programme.
- A suite of activity to show the Council 'Open for Business'.
- An exciting Sci:Tech sector development programme.
- Export development and inward investment activity.
(3) A great place for people to succeed: ensuring the local economy trains, recruits and retains the right talent required for continued growth. There are four main areas of activity including employability and inclusion measures and initiatives targeted at military personnel and young people:
- Ensuing shared prosperity and matching talent.
- Deepening our strong military connections.
- Raising the aspirations and awareness of young people.
- Measures to address pockets of worklessness.