Economic renewal strategy to support jobs and businesses in Midlothian

Friday June 26th 2020

Midlothian Fairfield House


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Midlothian Council has approved a new Economic Renewal Strategy, setting out its ambitious approach to managing the transition from lockdown and planning for the longer term challenges the local economy will face.

The key aims are to protect jobs, preserve business and mitigate the adverse economic impact of COVID-19. Taking a partnership approach, the strategy will encourage entrepreneurship, upskilling and training, addressing gaps in the market and changing the way business is done to better align this to customer behaviour.

“The renewal strategy sets out the ways we will work with our partners to help support local businesses, the local workforce and our citizens, to access new opportunities,” explained Midlothian Council Leader, Councillor Derek Milligan. “Together, we will help ensure that we experience a sustainable, inclusive and resilient economic recovery, and that Midlothian continues to be a ‘great, green place to grow’.

“A key aim is to review how land is allocated for economic development, introducing a flexible approach to respond to market demand, changes in employment patterns and climate change. We will help support our businesses to be entrepreneurial, and will encourage those from outwith the area to relocate to Midlothian to help them develop and grow. Our new Locate in Midlothian website, which launches next week, will be key in achieving this.

“The council also aims to support the recovery of tourism and Midlothian’s towns and high streets by making sure that businesses are prepared and that customers are confident to return,” added Councillor Milligan. “Our renewal plans will help provide the essential infrastructure for the economy of the future, with the flexibility to support new business models, markets and opportunities.”

A new Business Regulatory Support Service is also being launched to provide a “one-stop shop” for all planning, building standards, environmental health, trading standards and licensing matters. The aim is to guide, inform and enable businesses to develop, adapt and diversify to the current and changing landscape. The launch of a new ‘Midlothian Assured’ scheme is also designed to give assurance to customers and promote trade within Midlothian by supporting local supply chains and “buy local” campaigns.

Alongside support for agriculture, tourism and the leisure and hospitality sectors, the council will also promote local jobs and self-employment opportunities, particularly for young people, to give them the necessary skills and support they need to benefit from economic recovery.

Measures to encourage active travel and public transport use will also be accelerated, and support will be given to businesses to help them operate in environmentally friendly ways. Key to this will be the launch of the Midlothian Carbon Charter, with its pledge to reduce harmful climate emissions. The council aims to achieve Net Zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and the charter will encourage businesses in the area to do the same.

You can read the Economic Renewal Strategy HERE.

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