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SEMLEP launches plan to double size of South East Midlands' economy

8th November 2017

On  8th November 2017, SEMLEP publishes the 2017 Strategic Economic Plan for the South East Midlands. The Plan sets the ambition and strategic economic direction for the South East Midlands to 2050, focusing particularly on the next 10 years.

It details priority areas where SEMLEP and partners will target investments and actions to create and support the right conditions for successful growth, to enable the economy to double in size by 2050. The Strategic Economic Plan provides detailed economic evidence that underpins the long-term strategic priorities. 

The revised plan was developed in close consultation with a wide range of partners, from businesses, local authorities, Government and education providers and will underpin future work on the Local Industrial Strategy and the development of the Oxford -Milton Keynes- Cambridge Growth Corridor following the final report of the National Infrastructure Commission, expected later this month.

As part of the Strategic Economic Plan launch, SEMLEP will also publish the Growing People Skills Strategy and the key findings from SEMLEP’s 2017 Business Survey

Dr Ann Limb CBE DL, Chair of SEMLEP said: “We have a  strong and thriving economy in the South East Midlands, with a  positive future. We are already recognised as the most innovative LEP area in the country, with considerable  sector strengths, aligned to Government’s Industrial Strategy.  

“The economic evidence and analysis that underpins our strategic priorities, shows that the South East Midlands will continue to be integral to the success of the UK’s economy. However, we cannot and must not be complacent. Our area faces skills challenges and, to realise our potential we need to invest in developing the right infrastructure to meet the future needs of our businesses and growing population.

“Our revised Strategic Economic Plan sets out our clear vision for the type of growth we want to see and what we need to do to achieve prosperity for our businesses and communities right across the region. Success in delivering against the economic ambitions will depend on close collaboration across all of our partners in the private and public sectors.”

Alex Burns, President of Millbrook said:  "The South East Midlands has been an excellent location for our business. It provides a high quality of life for our employees, a central location for our test facilities and ready access to the global market through its transport links. These advantages have helped us to grow our business in recent years, but the local employment market and infrastructure are approaching full capacity.

“To continue to be a platform for growth for high technology businesses like Millbrook, the South East Midlands needs to increase the capacity for economic growth. This new Strategic Economic Plan from SEMLEP contains many practical steps that can be taken to do that and to develop the region as a leading location for business. The Plan also contains many measures that can be used to access and promote the progress the region will make in the coming years.”

SEMLEP will now work with partners to develop an implementation plan for the SEP in order to set performance indicators and targets to achieve the doubling of the South East Midlands’ GVA by 2050.

The Strategic Economic Plan can be downloaded from

South East Midlands: FACTS

The South East Midlands is a high growth economy. Our GVA currently stands at some £50bn, up from c.£45bn in 2010. The area includes highly productive economies. For example, Milton Keynes has the fifth highest GVA per worker of all British cities. Between 2000-2015, the area’s population grew by 16%, from 1.70m to 1.97m, while England’s population grew by 11%. This demographic growth is set to continue, with the ONS projecting a South East Midlands’ population of 2.42m by 2039. 


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