Forest of Dean District Council

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND REGENERATION

A thriving local economy is one of the primary aims of the Council's regeneration initiatives. Policies and programmes that will increase employment opportunities, stimulate the local economy and sustain the rural infrastructure are an essential part of the Corporate Plan.
Action is being taken in a number of ways.

DISTRICT WIDE INITIATIVES We are working with other bodies from all sections of the community in a Regeneration Partnership.
LOCALITY BASED INITIATIVES Local partnerships have been established to develop proposals for the main towns and the rural areas.
INDUSTRIAL SITES AND PREMISES We are working to provide and promote sites and premises for new employment.
TOWN CENTRES We are investing in improved infrastructure to support Town Centres.
TOURISM We recognise the importance of the tourism industry and are implementing a strategy for the District.
TRAINING We are supporting the provision of training through the TEC and other bodies.


DISTRICT WIDE INITIATIVES

Facts and Figures

Unemployment Statistics for November, 1999

Summary

In November, 1999 the unemployment rate for the Forest of Dean District (residence based) stood at 2.9% (no monthly change of rate). This rate represents 1,028 unemployed persons in the district of which 692 are male and 336 are female.

The unemployment rate for Gloucestershire (workplace based) stood at 2.5% in November, (no monthly change of rate) with the rate for the Cinderford Travel to Work Area (workplace based) also remaining constant at 3.5%. There was a -0.1% fall in the rate for Great Britain at 3.9% (workplace based) with the rate for the South West Region remaining constant at 2.8% (workplace based).

Long Term Unemployment (October 1999).

The Forest of Dean District has 226 persons who have been unemployed for over 52 weeks (22.3% of the total unemployed) and 105 (10.4%) who have been unemployed for over 104 weeks. The % of total unemployed figures for Gloucestershire are 22.6% and 11.6% respectively whilst for Great Britain the figures are 23.9% and 11.4% respectively.

Unemployed amongst those under 25 years of age (October 1999).

The Forest of Dean District has 209 persons unemployed who are under 25 years of age (20.6% of the total unemployed). This percentage of the total unemployed is lower than the rate for the County (21.9%) and for Great Britain (24.5%).

Ward Unemployment Rates (October 1999).

The highest rates of unemployment within the District's Wards are Alvington & Aylburton (5.4%), Ruardean (5.2%) and Broadwell (4.5%).

The lowest unemployment rates are to be found in Woolaston (0.7%), Hartpury (1.1%) and Tibberton (1.1%),

With regards to numbers unemployed, Lydney has 140 unemployed persons, Cinderford has 130, Coleford has 103, Broadwell has 87 and Newent Central has 35. At the other end of the scale, Woolaston has 4 unemployed persons, Tibberton has 7, Hartpury has 8, and Westbury - on - Severn has 9.

This information is published by the Gloucestershire Labour Market Information Unit and a copy of their 'Unemployment Statistics for November, 1999' is available in the Members' Room.

Initiating Officer: Nick Rawlings, Economic Development Officer.
Department: Strategy.

Strategic Issues in place or being tackled:-
Forest of Dean Regeneration Partnership Established as a focus for joint working involving all key public/private/voluntary bodies.
Economic Development Strategy A statement of the District Council's approach to the economy.
Marketing and Promotion Strategy To be prepared during 1997.
Business Finance Scheme To provide limited financial support to small businesses.
Lobbying for further assistance to the District Principally through the work of the Partnership but also through bodies such as the Gloucestershire Development Agency.
Forest of Dean Rural Development Plan Assistance provided by the Rural Development Commission for economic and social projects.


LOCALITY BASED INITIATIVES

Strategic Issues in place or being tackled:-
Cinderford Cinderford Regeneration Partnership established.
SRB funding in place for a programme of improvements and initiatives to establish a Business Advice Centre, provide combined housing and training for young people, develop empty sites and provide environmental improvements.
CCTV
Coleford A town centre partnership has been established.
The second phase of a major environmental improvement project which also deals with traffic circulation will be undertaken.
CCTV
Lydney Lydney Partnership established.
Negotiations continuing for the release of employment land for new development.
Feasibility study to be undertaken by consultants on major expansion of Lydney.
Technical investigation to be undertaken of improvements to Lydney Station and connections to it.
Further work to be undertaken on traffic management and town centre improvements.
CCTV
Newent Newent Town Council has established a local partnership to promote improvements.
CCTV
Rural Areas Rural partnerships have been established.


INDUSTRIAL SITES AND PREMISES

Strategic Issues in place or being tackled:-
Forest Vale Industrial Estate Cinderford Environmental improvements being undertaken to upgrade its overall appearance.
Register of Rural Buildings Being prepared in order to promote small scale economic development in rural areas.
Woodland Employment Sites A number of woodland and countryside sites with potential for high quality economic development will be marketed.
Register of Available Sites and Premises A register with up to date information is available for enquiries.


TOWN CENTRES

Strategic Issues in place or being tackled
Development Sites Promotion of opportunities for development within the town centres especially for national retailers.
Car Parks Provision for adequate free car parking space.


TOURISM

Facts and Figures
Direct Employment in Tourism 1,600
Indirect Employment in Tourism 780
Number of Day Visitors 1.5m
Number of Hotel/B&Bs etc. 112
Number of Caravan Pitches 1,200
Number of Bed Nights 700,000

Strategic Issues in place or being tackled
Tourism Strategy and Action Plan
for the Forest of Dean
Adopted by the Council and being implemented.
Hotel Sites Opportunities for high quality hotel sites are being investigated.


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