Harrogate district already enjoys a number of important economic strengths on which to build. We have a long history of successful business start-ups and a well-qualified resident population which underpins an enviable, high quality of life in a district that blends outstanding natural beauty and striking architectural features. In addition have strong and growing digital and financial & professional services sectors. Our visitor economy is vibrant; our business visitors enjoy the exciting benefits of our convention centre and our strong, growing rural economy supports over 2,500 jobs.
We do however face significant challenges to address which will aid a truly sustainable economy that works for all. Our average workplace earnings across the district are lower than regional norms and there is a significant miss-match of earnings to the high cost of living in Harrogate. There is a persistent loss of young talent who are well educated, but leave to work in cities where higher paid jobs exist. There are barriers preventing the growth of higher paid jobs either through specific skills gaps or where transport, accommodation and digital infrastructure is preventing business growth.
This is why we are developing an Economic Growth Strategy for the district which will provide a framework to build on our strengths, addresses our challenges and, through positive, focused intervention, raise the game of public sector and private partnerships. The strategy calls upon enhanced working relationships with proven potential partners in the public and private sector by creating new partnerships with a long term horizon.
To that end we are seeking our partners and stakeholders views so that you can engage and participate in our growth and would very much welcome your views on this draft Economic Growth Strategy that we believe can secure powerful, economic growth for the long term benefit of our district.
To participate in the consultation and to view the strategy and supporting evidence please follow the link – www.harrogate.gov.uk/economicgrowthstrategy