Friday, 24 February 2012


Councillors have been given an update on progress with a new Economic Development and Regeneration Strategy for Thanet.

In answer to a question at last night’s (Thursday 24 February) Full Council on this issue, Cllr. Clive Hart, who is responsible for strategic economic development, told the council that work is underway on the strategy. It will be presented to the Thanet Regeneration Board at their meeting on 16 March.

He explained to the meeting that the consultation draft of the strategy is likely to set out five key themes, which he listed as:

  1. Tourism and culture, building on the area’s heritage and history as a seaside resort.
  2. “Green Isle”, capturing the potential of the idea for renewable energy.
  3. Productivity, particularly focusing on small and medium sized businesses.
  4. Skills and employment, ensuring people have the skills they need. This may include ensuring school leavers are ready for work, apprenticeships for young adults, developing skills of people in work, and back to work skills for older unemployed people.
  5. Infrastructure, making sure the building blocks for a strong economy are in place. This could include providing high speed broadband, availability of suitable workspace and looking at road and rail links.
Cllr. Hart concluded by telling the meeting that: “The strategy will highlight the role that high streets have in creating a sense of place and identity for the towns within Thanet.  We will look to build on the debates started by the Portas review – including her visit to Margate. As the strategy is developed further, the process for delivery will be developed, clearly articulating roles and responsibilities.  This will be a strategy for the Isle of Thanet, but delivery will not fall just to the council.”

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