November 2018


Strong relationship between Warwickshire and Coventry is platform for region's prosperity

"The relationship between Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and the LEP is the strongest it has ever been and that gives us a brilliant platform for further growth."

Warwickshire County Council chief executive (designate) Monica Fogarty has pinpointed the "strongest ever" relationship between Warwickshire and Coventry as crucial to the ongoing prosperity of the region.

Speaking at Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce’s annual economic conference last week, Ms Fogarty and Coventry City Council chief executive Martin Reeves stressed their belief that working together is very much the way forward. 

That policy of co-operation is already paying dividends, having contributed to the buoyant state of the region's economy. Since the recession, Warwickshire has enjoyed the fastest productivity growth of all local authorities in England, driven not least by high levels of Foreign Direct Investment.

The councils' relationship is the foundation stone for an exciting and prosperous future for the region, despite the inevitable uncertainty surrounding Brexit, believes Ms Fogarty.

"Brexit is a totally unknown quantity in terms of what it will mean for us and, nationally, there are lots of pressures on the economy," she said. "But what we do know from talking to businesses across Warwickshire and Coventry is that our economy is thriving. That is great news - and it is not an accident. It is the result of a lot of hard work between ourselves and Coventry City Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

"The relationship between Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and the LEP is the strongest it has ever been and that gives us a brilliant platform for further growth. We have a lot to be confident about in the future.

"It is no longer about forming a relationship between the councils, it is about preserving the strong relationship we now have and strengthening it even further. Whatever is good for Coventry is good for Warwickshire and vice-versa. It's not about competing to attract businesses to one patch or another, it's about bringing investment into the region as whole.

"Geographically and as an economy we are a coherent unit, so there is no sense whatsoever in focusing on Warwickshire alone or Coventry alone. The focus has to be on that unit. That is what is happening and what is enabling us to do so well."

Ms Fogarty and Mr Reeves were among the speakers at last week's conference, an event which Ms Fogarty felt was a superb showcase for the region's buoyant and diverse business community.

"It was a great conference," she said. "There was a really broad range of speakers with an excellent focus on skills and further education and a couple of panels that were highly informative with lots of engagement from the audience.

"Maggie Philbin gave a fantastic address on Teentech and how we can stimulate the interest of teenagers in technology and translate the ideas and creativity of young people into careers in Tech. I would love for us to host a Teentech event in our region soon as it would fit perfectly with the work with schools that we do through our Skills for Employment programme.

"Such a good mix of delegates at the conference meant that there was a national and regional context and then Martin and I spoke about how the economy is working in Coventry and Warwickshire.

"With so many businesses in the room it was great to be able to give them such positive messages about the strength of the  economy because, while we are doing all we can to support them, it is those businesses' quality, innovation, diversity and hard work that underpins that strength."


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