AMBITIOUS plans to tackle some of the biggest challenges which society is facing while accelerating economic growth across North Yorkshire have been harnessed in a brand new strategy for the county.

North Yorkshire Council’s draft economic growth strategy is set to see the authority establishing a leading role in proposals to create a carbon negative economy, maximise investment and improve the quality of life for the county’s 615,000 residents and 32,000 businesses.

The five-year strategy includes plans to support business growth by building on existing sectors and increasing innovation and productivity. It is also looking to equip town centres so they can thrive through the 21st century by investing in transport, housing, digital and energy infrastructure. And the strategy is also aimed at ensuring that residents have the skills needed to meet these aspirations.

The draft plan sets a framework for detailed actions and investment plans with delivery both by the council and in partnership with other agencies. It also outlines the roles which the council’s area constituency committees will play to make sure local communities are involved and engaged.

North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for open to business, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “Our economic growth strategy is a key milestone for the council, marking an exciting new phase for our economy.”

North Yorkshire Council and City of York Council have successfully secured a devolution deal with the Government, which subject to final approval by Parliament, will lead to the creation of a new York and North Yorkshire Combined Authority which is set to drive regeneration and investment to the wider area.

Cllr Bastiman added: “North Yorkshire is a unique and special place. Its scale and industries make it integral to the North of England’s economic future, and its landscapes, culture and history make it a fantastic place to live, work and do business.”

The county is already a leader in the UK’s transition to net zero and has ambitions to go further in becoming a carbon negative economy. Renewable energy generation, agritech and food and drink sectors are all nationally significant and offer huge potential for both growth and decarbonisation.

The county is also home to a vast array of localised specialisms spanning financial and professional services, advanced manufacturing, logistics, digital and life sciences, as well as being an internationally-renowned visitor economy which in itself generates more than £1.5 billion each year.

Members of the council’s executive will meet on tomorrow, October 17 when they will be asked to recommend to full council that the draft strategy is adopted.