Our local economy is built on the hard work of people across many different sectors and some of these have had a pretty tough time in recent years. It’s an economy that with the right support, targeted in the right places could be so much more. We want an economy in North Wiltshire that works for everyone. Whether it’s tourism, agriculture, services or manufacturing, we want it to be dynamic, green, co-operative and skilled.
Targeted investment in growth, jobs and tourism, in every town and across North Wiltshire
We’ll establish a Wiltshire Investment Fund. Delivered through a local Enterprise Investment Bank, it will deliver capital investment and training and will champion the growth of community businesses and cooperatives.
We’ll work with partners and local enterprises to establish a ‘Wiltshire’ brand. This will help promote and market Wiltshire produce and products.
Wiltshire Council will play its part in promoting Wiltshire as a strong brand through its websites, public buildings and renewed road signage.
As our High Streets change, we’ll transfer ownership of Wiltshire owned retail units to town and parish councils so they can implement local lettings strategies, and support pop up shops and arts initiatives.
We’ll make sure that the ultra-fast broadband rollout our rural businesses need is delivered, with no place left behind.
We'll put in place a framework so that Wiltshire Council buys more goods and services locally to ensure that the Wiltshire economy thrives. We’ll ask other businesses and employers to join this framework and do the same.
We'll end Wiltshire Council’s use of zero-hour contracts and pay the Real Living Wage. We’ll require our suppliers and contractors to do the same.
We’ll ensure that land set aside for commercial or employment use is marketed thoroughly by Wiltshire Council and the LEP before it is given over to more housing.
We’ll increase funding support to ‘Visit Wiltshire’ to promote tourism, but in return we’ll expect to see them play an active role working with partners to revitalise established attractions and to identify and develop new ones. We’ll also expect them to support town and parish councils in promoting tourism at a local level.
We’ll support museums, the arts and festivals through direct funding and support them in bidding for funding from other agencies.
As we work with partners to enhance all of Wiltshire as an attractive tourist destination, we’ll implement a ‘Wiltshire Card’ providing tourists with one simple ticket for all destinations and locals with free or discounted admission to local attractions.
Making our enterprise agency work for all of us and bringing businesses together to do more
We want the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to be more accountable and we believe all our communities should benefit from the millions of pounds spent in our region, not just those areas decided on by unelected LEP committees. We’ll ensure that that Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett and Malmesbury, as the biggest towns in North Wiltshire, have representation on the LEP Board.
We’ll complement the large Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) growth areas with mini growth zones in every town. As large companies can in those areas, small businesses will be able to access advice, support and funding to grow and to employ more people.
We’ll bring together food producers who want to work with each other to establish a Wiltshire Local Food Network. This mutually owned co-operative, sharing the costs of marketing and distribution, will bring much needed scale and support to producers.
We’ll support local Community Assets such as pubs and shops through rate relief and planning protection and we’ll actively promote the community’s right to buy these assets if they are at risk.
GREEN – Growing the green economy and building a better environment
We’ll extend Wiltshire Council’s investment in renewable energy. We’ll require energy conservation and energy generation measures to be implemented on all public buildings and on council houses. We’ll also develop renewable energy projects on council-owned land, such as solar farms.
We’ll establish a network of small-scale green enterprise parks and business centres to provide the infrastructure needed to support the development of a strong local green economy.
We’ll collaborate with local Further Education Institutions and employers to ensure that vocational training is provide to support the growing green economy.
We’ll ensure that planning controls are used to require all new developments to be zero carbon and we’ll support renewable energy developments such as solar, onshore wind and micro-hydroelectric projects.
We’ll ask that all parish and town councils set land aside in neighbourhood or town plans for green energy generation.
Wiltshire Council should play an active role, providing expert advice and assistance in accessing funds for community energy initiatives to community groups, parish and town councils so we’ll establish a team to do just this.
We’ll develop and expand the network of trails, footpaths and cycle routes within the county, supporting the promotion of active leisure tourism and greener commuting.
SKILLED – Building your skills and supporting education providers to deliver what you need
We'll champion further investment in Wiltshire College building on the recent improvements made to Lackham, Salisbury, Trowbridge and Chippenham campuses.
We'll continue to support the creation of a Wiltshire University and all the benefits that will bring.
We'll champion apprenticeships for the unemployed and those in desire of a career change.
We'll work with schools and colleges to create a link between themselves and future employers.
We’ll collaborate with the Further Education sector in Wiltshire and local employers and partners to ensure that the right vocational courses and apprenticeships are provided to support local growth sectors.
We’ll use Wiltshire Council’s network of county farms to provide opportunities and skills for new entrants into the farming sector
We’ll improve employment conditions and skills in the social care sector by signing up to Unison’s “Ethical care charter for the commissioning of homecare services”, joining other councils like Cornwall and Plymouth in becoming an Ethical Care Council.