Cheshire East Council’s leader, Cllr Rachel Bailey, has praised the prime minister’s industrial vision and says Cheshire East is ‘leading by example’ in attracting and nurturing hi-tech businesses.
Cllr Bailey was at Jodrell Bank last Monday (21st May) to hear Theresa May say: “UK global leadership in science and innovation is one of this country’s greatest assets.”
Welcoming the speech on Britain’s industrial strategy, Cllr Bailey commented: “Britain has been a cradle of scientific achievement for centuries and here at Cheshire East, we recognise that such vision and innovation will be crucial for the creation of jobs and economic growth in the 21st century.”
Cheshire East is currently home to world-leading hi-tech companies including Waters, AstraZeneca, Bentley Motors and the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone (which includes the Alderley Park life sciences incubator).
The county is also leading the way nationally in superfast broadband roll-out, with over 95% of homes and businesses now connected.
The prime minister said in her speech at Jodrell Bank, standing in front of the iconic Lovell Telescope: “Jodrell Bank is an icon of the UK’s tradition of scientific achievement and is today at the cutting edge of 21st century discovery.
“And as I look towards the future, that spirit of scientific inquiry, and its power to shape a better tomorrow, is at the heart of my vision.”
Mrs May announced that the government’s industrial strategy will make a commitment to take support for UK science and technology to ‘another level’.
She announced £7 billion in new public funding for science, research and innovation – the largest increase for 40 years.
The prime minister also announced the target of seeing 2.4 per cent of GDP invested in research and development by 2027.
This could translate into an additional £80bn investment in the ideas of the future over the course of the next decade.
Cllr Bailey said after the speech: “I agree with the prime minister that today the world stands at the threshold of a new technological age as exciting as any in our history.”
She said the council would continue to work with its partners, across the region and across industry, to take advantage of changes in how people live, work and do business.
Chesire East Council hopes to reshape the regional and national economy to transform our communities in the years ahead.
Cllr Bailey explained: “Key to this will be to the nurturing of people’s skills and delivery of modern infrastructure, such as fully-integrated HS2, to enable Cheshire East and the wider sub-region to deliver growth, jobs and rebalance the national economy.
“That way we can deliver a thriving modern economy and excellent quality of place for residents in a Cheshire East that continues to be a highly-desirable place to live, work, visit and do business.”
The economy of Cheshire East is one of the best performing in the country, with the value of goods and services (GVA) produced in the borough per head 27% higher than the UK average (2015 figures) and the highest performing English economy outside London and the South East.
Jodrell Bank not only represents cutting-edge science but its heritage is also globally significant, with its education and tourism offering set to play a major part in its future.
Cheshire East’s high-growth sectors are expected to be digital and creative industries, advanced manufacturing, life sciences, automotive and agri-tech.
It’s predicted that these will continue to build upon the world-leading industry clusters that are already situated in the borough.