Ambitious plans to tackle some of the biggest challenges which society is facing while accelerating economic growth across North Yorkshire have been harnessed in a brand new strategy for the county.

Its draft economic growth strategy is set to see the authority establishing a leading role in proposals to create a carbon negative economy, maximise investment and improve the quality of life for the county’s 615,000 residents and 32,000 businesses.

The five-year strategy includes plans to support business growth by building on existing sectors and increasing innovation and productivity. It is also looking to equip town centres so they can thrive through the 21st century by investing in transport, housing, digital and energy infrastructure. And the strategy is also aimed at ensuring that residents have the skills needed to meet these aspirations.

The draft plan sets a framework for detailed actions and investment plans with delivery both by ourselves and in partnership with other agencies. It also outlines the roles which the council’s area constituency committees will play to make sure local communities are involved and engaged.

Executive member for open to business, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “Our economic growth strategy is a key milestone for the council, marking an exciting new phase for our economy. We are set to take the lead on tackling some of the big economic challenges of our time and seek to maximise investment from the private sector, government and funding agencies.

“This strategy comes at a critical time for North Yorkshire, and one of the most exciting in its recent history. Having recently successfully completed the move to a single unitary, we have a once in a generation opportunity to embed a new approach to supporting economic growth in North Yorkshire.”

North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council have successfully secured a devolution deal with the Government, which subject to final approval by Parliament, will lead to the creation of a new York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority which is set to drive regeneration and investment to the wider area.

Cllr Bastiman added: “North Yorkshire is a unique and special place. Its scale and industries make it integral to the North of England’s economic future, and its landscapes, culture and history make it a fantastic place to live, work and do business.”

Members of the council’s executive were due to meet next Tuesday (17th) and were recommended to ask the full council that the draft strategy is adopted.