HJA was commissioned by a group of six local authorities – Somerset County Council and the County’s five districts – to prepare a growth plan for Somerset. As well as guiding each of the local authorities’ plans, this also formed the basis of their submission to the Heart of the South West LEP for investment in growth projects from the Single Local Growth Fund and EU structural funds.
HJA prepared a baseline assessment of the local economy, including an assessment of each district, to understand the needs and opportunities in Somerset. Somerset has a broad economy comprising rural areas, market towns, large towns and some nationally significant sectors including nuclear power and aerospace. We consulted with around 40 stakeholders, to build up a comprehensive picture of the local needs and opportunities. Some consultations were one-to-one, and others in workshops. We then created a draft plan, and refined it through consultation with elected members, senior officers and the stakeholders that had helped to inform the plan.
HJA helped to achieve a consensus about the direction of growth amongst six local authorities with different objectives. HJA ensured that the Somerset Growth Plan was suitable to inform the Heart of South West LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan. HJA has set the Somerset local authorities on the path of agreeing a list of projects to deliver their growth plan objectives.
To read our report “Somerset Growth Plan” click here