Reepham Economic Strategy
UPDATE ON PROGRESS
Newsletter, 19th March 2013
The Economic Strategy for Reepham is continuing to progress. Over the course of January and February, Ingham Pinnock Associates undertook a significant programme of baseline research. The research drew upon statistical information on the local economy, recently published data from the 2011 Census, the results of numerous consultation meetings and a visual survey of the town.
The baseline research was presented to the Town Team over the course of two meetings and highlighted a number of interesting points. For example, we now know the population has grown by 250 people since 2001 (from 2,450 to 2,700); we also understand just how important the High School & College is in terms of providing local employment, as well as the high concentration of very small businesses and the fondness of residents for their local independent retailers.
Having completed the baseline research Kate Pinnock and Ross Ingham have synthesised all the information they have collected and identified six major issues that adversely affect the economy of the town. These issues were recently reviewed with the Town Team and will be the subject of further work and refinement, but at present, are as follows:
1) Retail sector – the retail sector in Reepham is relatively fragile (mirroring national trends), as highlighted by the impact of the recent temporary closure of HSBC.
2) Employment space – there is a limited supply of the right kind of floorspace for new, growing or in-moving businesses.
3) Visitor offer – the visitor offer is not particularly clear and could be improved to capture more spend from tourists in Norfolk.
4) Town centre – while the town centre is unique and very attractive, there are a number of issues that mean it is not fulfilling its potential role in the economy of the town.
5) New development – any new development must be of the highest possible quality to ensure the special character of the town is not diluted.
6) Business base – there is a lack of medium-sized businesses based in the town, which limits local employment opportunities and local economic growth.
A refined version of these issues will form the building blocks of the economic strategy. They will provide vital information on areas for the Town Team to focus their efforts in terms of designing projects and initiatives that will deliver greater economic resilience and growth.
Work is ongoing and we look forward to providing details of projects and ideas as they start to emerge from the strategy soon.
If you would like to know more about the Strategy there are a number of other sources listed below:
We are happy receive further comments from members of the public and stakeholder groups, if you do have further comments please contact either Ross or Kate using the details above.