County enterprise partnership reveals plans to build 37,000 new homes and create 32,000 new jobs by 2021

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Thirty-seven thousand new homes will be built and 32,000 new jobs created by 2021 if an economic strategy unveiled by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership comes to fruition.

The partnership’s economic plan was revealed on Monday as part of a national process for local enterprise partnerships to present their proposals to the Government.

NEP is targeting growth at one percent higher than the national average, aiming to grow the county economy from £16 billion to £20 billion by 2021.

Chief executive of NEP, Jo Lappin, said: “More than 180 people from businesses and key organisations across Northamptonshire shared their thoughts with us, which informed and shaped our Strategic Economic Plan. We are confident that this Plan will help our businesses to grow and prosper and create new jobs for Northamptonshire. It will also support house building and create the infrastructure that we need for our growing population.”

The plan concentrates on four key areas - business and innovation, employment and skils, housing and insfrastructure and connectivity.

A spokesman for NEP said: “Northampton was named the best city for business in the UK by Experian in March 2014.

“NEP will continue to offer wide-ranging and effective support to help businesses grow and develop, including Northamptonshire’s thriving sectors which include High Performance Technologies, Logistics, Food and Drink, Financial Services and the Creative Industries.”

In terms of employments and skills, NEP’s plan recognised the improtants of providing a skilled workforce to meet current and future needs, he added.

“The plan will support those looking for work to develop the skills that employers need. It will also support our businesses to take on apprentices and young people.”

Housing growth is crucial to NEP’s plan, he said. NEP is aiming to stimulate the building of a further 37,000 homes across Northamptonshire by 2021. The Plan will bring together key partners to explore how Northamptonshire can provide the housing needed to meet the needs of local people – the right product, in the right place, at the right price.”

The county is the UK’s leading logistics and transport hub, he added, and NEP was aiming to strengthen this in the future.

“There will be significant investment in the county’s digital infrastructure so that Northamptonshire businesses have access to first class IT networks, which allow them to compete on a global basis.”