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Vision for York's Businesses

York city council

5:03pm 19th July 2012

Business and Community leaders gathered in the Mansion House yesterday evening (Wednesday 18th July) to listen to the first of what is expected to be an annual speech on the City of York Council's achievements and challenges delivered by Cllr James Alexander, its Labour leader.

Cllr Alexander discussed the need for the city to continue to collaborate and be a key part of the emerging City Region Deals and the Association of West Yorkshire Authorities, helping to shape the region’s future. This in turn would enable the city to have greater power to determine its own future and secure the economic growth York needs.

The importance of work to internationalise the city was also highlighted, specifically the importance of building strong links with new and emerging markets such as China, so that York businesses are able to expand and diversify into new and growing markets to protect their futures.

Discussing the challenges for the most vulnerable in the city, Cllr Alexander reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to creating growth in the economy and providing quality jobs; investing now to ensure growth is achieved in the longer term.

The leader set out the Council's plans to consult on the new Local Plan for the city, which includes addressing the housing challenges York currently faces, building and improving on the former Local Development Framework.

Setting out the key priorities for 2012/13 and his vision for York’s future, Cllr Alexander cited the new Economic Infrastructure Fund, improving the digital connectivity of the city and investing in the city’s infrastructure to support business, tourism and education providers to thrive, as key to the city's long-term success.

Cllr Alexander said:

“Ultimately, we need to understand the needs of business and the community if we are to maximise what our city has to offer to our residents, workers and visitors. We can only do this with your support.

“We have a huge asset base in the city and a wealth of skills, drive and enthusiasm. We have laid the building blocks for growing the economy and look forward to working with you all to achieve our priorities for York in the coming year.”

The event also proved the perfect platform to launch the city’s latest offering for business in the city with its ‘York Means Business’ web portal – a single point of information for businesses looking to start, grow or locate in the city.

The portal, developed to simplify the experience of businesses trying to find information or support, now that the old regional Business Link offer is no longer available, is just one of a number of initiatives being developed to support business, both new and existing in the city.

The Economic Development team at the Council, will support the portal and can be contacted via the site; to talk through the needs of local or inward investing businesses and direct them to the appropriate advice and resources which are available.

The portal is at www.yorkmeansbusiness.co.uk and will be up and running for access this evening.

Introducing the portal to the room, the leader commented:

"We are very conscious that businesses continue to be key to jobs and growth as a city and that in the current economic climate, they need support to start, grow or locate here in York. We are doing what we can to break down barriers to doing business to create the best possible place to live, work and invest."

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