The University of Bath has joined forces with businesses, council leaders and other education providers in the region to support a renewed Bath & North East Somerset economy post lockdown.

A new Economic Renewal Partnership - led by B&NES council and including tech, culture, manufacturing, services, tourism and education representatives as well as the Bath BID - has been convened with the University of Bath as a key partner.

The partnership aims to rebuild confidence in our area as a safe, sustainable and green place in which to visit, study and work. Among other projects, the University is contributing to conversations aimed at establishing “skills hubs” and re-skilling people into new areas of opportunity such as the green and digital economies.

Leader of B&NES Council, Councillor Dine Romero, said: “The lockdown has hit local business very hard indeed. The council has also lost £17m in tourism income. Our first priority is to re-open our High Streets safely and sustainably and build on our area’s strengths as a safe, clean and green destination that people have confidence in.

“But this crisis has thrown into sharp relief the underlying challenges facing our area. We can’t go back to dependence on mass tourism. Our area has great strengths but we must take this opportunity to be more resilient and prepare for a greener future.”

Professor Ian White, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Bath, represents the University on the Bath Economic Renewal Partnership and is also a member of the West of England Economic Recovery Taskforce, representing the regions’ four Universities. Bringing together businesses, local government, universities and other partners including the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Taskforce aims to act as a coordinated lobby to central government, articulating the needs of the region, and to develop clean growth in the economic recovery of the south west region.

Professor White said: “The University of Bath has been committed to supporting the city and surrounding region throughout the lockdown, and we will continue to work with our partners in the area to support the growth of a post-Covid economy.

“There is a great deal of local talent and ambition which has always existed here and will continue to develop given the right conditions. Through the Bath Economic Renewal Partnership and the West of England Economic Recovery Board we hope to contribute to, and help to shape, the initiatives needed to nurture and develop the region’s talent, with the aim of a green and prosperous future for all those who live and choose to study here.”

Members of the Bath & North East Somerset Economic Renewal Partnership

Bath and North East Somerset Council
Bath Business Improvement District
Bath Chamber of Commerce and the Initiative in B&NES
Bath College
Bath Spa University
Buro Happold
Holburne Museum
Royds Withy King
St John’s Foundation
University of Bath
Visit Bath

Members of the West of England Economic Recovery Taskforce

Chair - Mr Tim Bowles, metro mayor of the West of England Combined Authority
Vice-Chair - Steve West, chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership
Dine Romero, leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council
Marvin Rees, mayor of Bristol
Don Davies, leader of North Somerset Council
Toby Savage, leader of South Gloucestershire Council

Board members:
David Brown, chief executive of Bristol Port
Nigel Costley, regional secretary, TUC South West
Andy Forbes, principal of City of Bristol College
Dave Lees, chief executive of Bristol Airport
Poku Osei, chief executive of Babbasa
Dick Penny, chair of West of England Cultural Strategy Group
Joanne Rumley, partner of Foot Anstey and member of West of England Skills Advisory Panel
Phil Smith, managing director of Business West
Ian White, vice chancellor and president of the University of Bath
Rick Sturge, South West chair of Business in the Community

Sector representatives:
Aerospace/advanced engineering: Paul Craig, Rolls Royce
Creative and digital tech: Sammy Payne, co-founder of Open Bionics
Professional services: Katharine Finn, partner of PwC West & Wales
Tourism: Kathryn Davis, Destination Bristol & Visit Bath
Food and rural enterprise: Peter Alvis, managing director of Lye Cross Farm
Transport and logistics: David Coombes, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
Health and life sciences: Natasha Swinscoe, West of England Academic Health Science Network
Low carbon: Margot Day, Buro Happold
Incubators, accelerators and hubs: Neil Douglas, Viper Innovations
Housing, construction and development: Richard Bonner, Arcadis
Digital connectivity: Jon Reynolds, GDS