Derbyshire Dales employers talk housing and other issues at council forum

Some of the Derbyshire Dales’ most important employers gathered in Darley Dale this week for a summit with political leaders to discuss how the district’s economy can be developed in the coming years.

By Ed Dingwall
Friday, 29th July 2022, 11:56 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2022, 11:57 am

District council chief executive Paul Wilson hosted the Derbyshire Dales chief executives’ breakfast forum at the Whitworth Centre on Wednesday, July 27, as part of an ongoing effort to provide strategic assistance to the private sector.

He said: “The council is passionate about supporting businesses in the Derbyshire Dales because it helps grow our local economy, provides good jobs for our residents, and helps our communities thrive.

“I find it invaluable to speak face-to-face with local employers so the District Council can tailor our support to their needs.”

Steve Capes, the district council's director of regeneration and policy, addresses the breakfast forum.

The annual forum was established in 2018 as a way to build strong board-level relationships between the council and the largest employers in the Derbyshire Dales – although those relationships have been maintained virtually during the pandemic.

The manufacturing sector employs most people in the district, with advanced manufacturing and food and drink among other particular strengths.

Senior representatives from the Peak District National Peak Authority, East Midlands Chamber and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership were also in attendance to discuss how the district ties into the wider regional context.

Top of the morning’s agenda were key initiatives like ‘levelling up’, challenges in the current business environment such as costs and exporting, progress towards net zero climate targets, and issues of staff recruitment and retention.

Participants talked about the need to develop new workspace premises which Dales businesses can grow into, together with a need for starter homes for local employees to buy – both identified as key priorities in the district council’s corporate plan for 2020-24.

Council leader Garry Purdy said: “This useful series of meetings was disrupted by Covid but it was really good to be able to meet face to face again with business leaders who help to shape the success of the Dales and get their feedback on key local issues.”

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