Derby launches Coronavirus Economic Recovery Task Force

Derby launches Coronavirus Economic Recovery Task Force

A task force has been launched to lead Derby’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

The group will gather intelligence to understand the businesses, sectors and investments most likely to be hardest hit by the pandemic.

It will aid the work of other agencies on short-term interventions, such as identifying opportunities for local contract sourcing and sign-posting jobs and training options for displaced employees.

It will renew Derby’s city centre master plan, taking into account new commercial realities and changed priorities, to ensure the city is well-placed to benefit from the economic bounce-back.

And it will identify opportunities for financial assistance and press Derby’s investment case.

The task force has been formed from representatives of the public and private sectors and is chaired by city council chief executive Paul Simpson.

Members include Rolls-Royce, Intu, the University of Derby, the Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter Business Improvement Districts, Marketing Derby and Derby Renaissance Board.

“It is clear that many businesses, large and small, across the city are already being badly affected by the crisis,” said Mr Simpson.

“Efforts are already underway to assist with distribution of government loans and grants to qualifying companies to help ease short-term pressures. We now need to gather intelligence to understand the scale of the threat to the local economy to help form our medium and longer-term mitigation and recovery strategies.

“We will also look at where there are new opportunities and make sure that the city and its businesses are able to capitalise on them.”

The task force will work with the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, East Midlands Chamber and government departments to deliver its aims.

An important element of its work will be a rapid re-evaluation of the city centre master plan, taking into account the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on sectors such as retail, leisure and hospitality.

The task force will be supporting investors with existing planned developments in the city to deliver those schemes and will explore opportunities, highlighted during the current crisis, to improve web connectivity and safeguard the environment.

It will engage with businesses and other key economic stakeholders over the next few weeks.

“The task force will do all it can to help mitigate the economic threat from coronavirus and ensure that the city has a clear plan for longer-term recovery,” said Mr Simpson.

Picture CC BY 2.0 Eamon Curry


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