Why Nottingham is the Bank of England’s leader of UK growth
As the latest official growth figures are announced it appears evident that England is beginning to recover from the long drawn out recession. From these figures Nottingham is now in the limelight and although hit badly by the recession, it Council have outlined that they have used this to their advantage.
“In a recession you have a chance to think radically,” says Nick McDonald, who is responsible for the city council's jobs and growth work. “What we are trying to get to now is a rebalanced economy with making things at its heart. Not cigarettes and bicycles but creative industries, green technology, biomedical,” he adds, referring to the city's heritage as the maker of Player's cigarettes and Raleigh bikes. Nottingham is awash with a vast culture and diversity throughout industries in which is should be celebrated.
The city council says its long list of projects, grants and business loans are already paying dividends. Since its launch in July 2012 the scheme has made more than £49m of finance available to businesses, and a record 3,762 new companies were set up last year. The council also touts the creation of 200 apprenticeships and 790 jobs.
That goes some way towards the short-term employment goals, but longer-term Nottingham needs to build on its heritage of manufacturing and innovation, says Kathy McArdle, who is charged with regenerating the city's recently rebranded Creative Quarter.
This area of the city, based in Lace market hosts a range of creative shops and business’s. A private led sector, it has been set up to support an environment for innovative business’s to thrive and grow. The Creative Quarter gives opportunities for a variety of sectors such a creative industries, software design, even music making building on the success hubs such a biocity for bio-science and medi-science alongside Antenna and Broadway for creative and media production.
Cofounder Ewan Lamont says that Nottingham offered a cheaper alternative to London. There were other draws too, such as the city's two universities and other technology companies. “You have got a lot of talent here,” he says.
There is a newly found optimism for the city of Nottingham with exciting growth plans ahead.
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