GFirst LEP Annual Review 2019

Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, GFirst LEP would like to thank everyone who attended our eighth Annual Review event on Thursday 19th September at the University of Gloucestershire, in the new School of Business and Technology.

The building itself was part funded to the tune of £5 million by GFirst LEP through Local Growth Fund Funding. Over 350 delegates were in attendance from a cross section of the public, private and voluntary sectors alongside students from the University of Gloucestershire.

GFirst LEP launched its draft Local Industrial Strategy, this strategy will guide future action and investment in Gloucestershire, its main focus is to improve productivity. In the presentation, David Owen CEO, reiterated the importance of listening to the views of young people through the engagement process and highlighted a survey that was completed by over 5,000 14 to 25 year olds from across the county.

David Owen added; “We need more young people to build their lives here in Gloucestershire to support our existing industrial strengths, such as advanced engineering, and help us exploit new opportunities – in cyber-tech, agri-tech and green technology in particular. This builds on our county’s strong tradition of innovation and our reputation, linked to GCHQ, as the cradle of cyber-tech innovation in the UK.”

“Now, we are opening up the conversation more widely, to help us develop these ideas further, and engaging with government to co-author a final version of the strategy for publication next year. Please see our website for details of the questions we are asking and don’t miss your chance to get involved.”

With other neighbouring LEPs and councils, GFirst LEP are exploring an emerging collaboration being promoted as the ‘Great Western Powerhouse’ – stretching roughly from Swindon to Swansea, including Gloucestershire. This is being described in a report by Metro Dynamics as ‘a powerhouse waiting to happen, with significant economic scale and shared sectoral and innovation strengths.’

The Annual Review event included a keynote speaker, Director of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming.  As one of Gloucestershire’s largest employers, GCHQ is committed to building a cyber security talent pipeline and Jeremy’s presentation highlighted the impact of the Cyber Accelerator programme in bringing £35m of investment into the area.

To view our draft Local Industrial Strategy and to provide feedback, please visit . There will also be a number of opportunities for a one to one session with a senior member of the GFirst LEP Team. The dates and venues for these drop-in sessions can also be found on the link above.


If you’d like to help us in strengthening the economy of Gloucestershire, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

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