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Paper 12 - 28 January 2000 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

28 January 2000

HAMPSHIRE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP PROGRESS REPORT

Joint Report by Councillor Geoff Woolger

And Andrew Lloyd, Chairman of HEP Executive Group

RECOMMENDATION

That this Progress Report on the work undertaken by the Hampshire Economic Partnership be noted.

INTRODUCTION

HEP has been very active over the last three months and continues to have an impressive programme. It is very encouraging that SEEDA continues to recognise HEP as the strategic partnership with whom it wishes to work in the implementation of the Regional Economic Strategy. This has been reinforced by recent correspondence in connection with Enterprise Hubs which is reported in more detail later.

At the Board meeting on 1st December Jennifer Miller, Southern Region Director of the CBI, was appointed Vice-Chairman of HEP.

The following achievements are of particular note:

Annual Conference

This was held on 9th November 1999 at IBM Hursley. Key speakers were Caroline Williams, SEEDA Board member and Rosemary Radcliffe, Chief Economist of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Andrew Lloyd, Chief Executive Rushmoor Borouch Council and Chairman of the HEP Executive. Over 100 attendees, many from the business community.

Enterprise Hubs

On 26th November 1999 HEP was invited by SEEDA to take a major facilitating role in developing this concept and provide a link between SEEDA and key local partners. The Partnership has been invited to bid to SEEDA for an Enterprise Hub in the Hampshire area to become operational during 2000. A regional workshop on 25th January will examine bids from HEP and the other 9 strategic economic partnerships within the south-east. In preparing the bid HEP has worked closely with all other local partnerships, all local authorities, business organisations, academic institutions and businesses.

Regional Economic Strategy

SEEDA has indicated that it wishes HEP to play a major role in the implementation of the RES and discussions are being held with Board members and senior directors to ensure that there is a close correlation between the aspirations of the HEP task groups and the RES. HEP's strength is the involvement of businesses through the task groups and a meeting of all task and sector group leaders on 25th January will debate the role that each wishes to play at the regional level whilst maintaining the excellent work that is being undertaken locally and on a sector basis. HEP continues to make a valuable contribution to discussions on the formation of the Small Business Service and the Learning and Skills Councils.

Marketing and Investment

In addition to the establishment of a good practice network of "aftercare" for foreign owned direct investment expansion/retention HEP has also been successful in negotiating with SEEDA the secondment of a member of staff to work directly with the Marketing and Investment Group on investment programmes and initiatives.

Aerospace and Defence

The Aerospace Group of HEP - the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium (FAC) - has been recognised by SEEDA as the voice of aerospace in the south-east and its chairman, Chris West, has been appointed chairman of SEEDA's Aerospace and Defence Task Group. FAC is organising a stand at the Farnborough International 2000 air show in July when up to 60 companies will exhibit under the FAC banner. Many of these companies have not previously been able to exhibit because of the prohibitive cost. A seminar has been arranged for 3rd February at BAE Systems on the subject of "Winning New Business" when delegates will discuss critical success factors in winning bids, knowing your customer and case studies from local firms.

The HEP Defence Group is bringing together many aerospace related companies and recently held a seminar at Alenia Marconi on defence diversification, customer relations and supply chain relationships. The group is building an impressive database and website to assist the networking and market access for local defence related firms. On 1st December 1999 the group ran a very successful seminar on "Communicating with your Customers".

Rural Issues

The Rural Economy Task Group ran a very successful conference, chaired by Lord Selborne, on 19th January at Sparsholt College considering Energy and Infrastructure - Issues for Agriculture. The conference considered economic change management in agriculture, prospects for the rural economy under the RES, infrastructure, efficiency and integrating wildlife and landscape conservation on commercial farms.

Transportation

HEP is involved, through its Transportation Group, in establishing a Hampshire Freight Quality Partnership. It is an agreement between the County Council, HEP and the Freight Transport Association aimed at producing a county-wide strategic agreement to develop a new working relationship based on a structured approach to dealing with best practice and sustainable distribution. It is intended to develop a commitment by the Partnership "to promote efficient and sustainable means of distribution of goods to support a strong economy and enhance the environment in Hampshire".

Innovation

Adrian Ryder, Managing Director of Fairey Microfiltrex Ltd. has now taken over chairmanship of the Innovation Group and has brought together a strong group drawn from the Universities of Portsmouth and Southampton, South Coast Metropole and senior people from local large and small businesses. The key theme will be successfully pioneering a link between universities and industry, drawing on impressive work undertaken in San Diego and Scotland. A seminar on Rapid Prototyping is scheduled for 4th April at the University of Portsmouth Regional Centre for Manufacturing Industry.

Construction

The Construction Group held a seminar in Southampton which outlined major opportunities in the area with input from practioners from major developments, particularly at West Quays and Southampton International Airport Business Park. The "Construction Challenge" brought together schools from Southampton and Eastleigh to compete with each other on business planning and constructing a house. This is part of an ongoing drive to engage the enthusiasm of schools and its pupils for construction as a career option. The group has also been working with government on the "combating cowboy builders" initiative and has been in discussion on this issue with Hampshire Trading Standards and its Business Standards Partnership Initiative.

Tourism

The Tourism Group identified skills shortages as being one of the key problems for the tourist industry in the Hampshire area and to address this issue has been awarded five separate grants from the European Social Fund totalling 580,000 to train people both in the tourist industry and those out of work to equip them with basic skills. So far 251 people have been on the training courses.

Research and Information

On 20th January the Research and Information Group held a conference entitled "Informing our Future" which brought together for the first time a wealth of recently completed economic and planning research at national, regional and sub-regional level. The conference addressed the implications arising from such issues as the knowledge driven economy for labour and skills, land and infrastructure, strategic development and marketing. The group is producing a research directory which details past, current and planned research together with sources of data in the Hampshire area. In February HEP will publish "An Assessment of Trends and Issues in the Hampshire Area" including analysis of key sectors, themes, people and work issues, skills and employment for the future, strengths, weaknesses and future prospects. The document distils the common themes, identifies the critical issues and challenges and seeks to clarify the policy implications for economic and business planning in the HEP area.

COUNCILLOR GEOFF WOOLGER
Rushmoor Borough Council

ANDREW LLOYD
Chief Executive, Rushmoor Borough Council

Date: 19 January, 2000
Annex: 0
Contact: Andrew Lloyd - (01252) 398397

Last update: 25/09/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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