HJA has worked with Christchurch & East Dorset Councils to support them through the development of their joint economic growth plan. Our initial involvement was to develop an evidence base, to properly understand the challenges and opportunities facing the local area. The economic geography of the local area is varied, comprising part of the South East Dorset (Bournemouth-Poole) urban conurbation, an international airport and deeply rural areas, meaning that there are a wide range of challenges and opportunities facing the area. We refined the evidence base through close working with the Councils’ senior officers and lead members. We then developed a framework for the Growth Plan, which again was tested and refined in consultation with senior officers and members. Out of this we developed a set of targets for future economic growth, and a mechanism for measuring progress against the targets. We have also provided advice on the types of projects that are needed to promote local economic growth.
Our work has taken Christchurch & East Dorset Councils from first principles through to the development of a growth plan framework, set of targets and initial list of projects. The Councils’ lead members and officers are committed to this plan, and are working hard to develop and deliver economic growth projects in the local area.