Solihull's coronavirus recovery plan to 'bring forward' HS2 infrastructure and village regeneration work - The Solihull Observer

Solihull's coronavirus recovery plan to 'bring forward' HS2 infrastructure and village regeneration work

Solihull Editorial 18th May, 2020   0

REDEVELOPMENT plans for Kingshurst and Chelmsley Wood will be brought forward as Solihull Council looks to aid the borough’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kingshurst village centre proposals include a new health centre, while Chelmsley Wood could see the refurbishment of its shopping mall.

The council said its economic recovery plan would looks at what is required from a national perspective down to a local level and work with local partners.

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said: “Our plan outlines our approach to supporting our people, businesses, and high streets, focusing on some key areas that we believe will ensure our economy recovers and returns to the strong position it held before Covid-19.

“This crisis was unexpected, the effect has been severe and the outcomes are still very uncertain. The government stepped in urgently with a comprehensive range of measures to protect people and businesses. Our plan will of course evolve as this pandemic unfurls, but we have tried to provide focus, look at the borough as a whole, and pay attention to those most affected.

“We have already seen the resilience of many of our businesses, some diversifying to help the regional and national efforts against the pandemic. However, we know that businesses will need ongoing support and I am encouraging them to engage with the plan, and tell us their thoughts through our Business Survey.

“As part of our immediate response, we’ve pumped nearly £30m into 1,680 companies and will continue to help them access any future finance initiatives from government, as well as any that are available regionally and locally.

“The Government’s furlough scheme has also been a lifeline to many businesses in the borough and is now continuing until October, giving businesses time to put in place the measures necessary to re-open and get back to work.

“The Solihull economy is dynamic, with its balance of manufacturing and services, and we have a highly qualified workforce; this gives us a good base to start our recovery from. Opportunities for local business will be created from large scale upcoming projects such as the HS2 Interchange and Hub area and the 2022 Commonwealth Games; this has to be a priority for us.

“We will also have a clear focus on supporting the recovery of our towns and local centres – making sure that businesses are prepared, and customers confident to return. We will also look to invest in future development, to support the long term resilience and prosperity of our high streets.

“Alongside support to our business community, we will promote local job and self-employment opportunities for our residents, particularly for our young people – giving them the necessary skills and support, so they can benefit from our economic recovery.

“We will also work with our employers to ensure that staff health and well-being is at the forefront of their operations, building on the already great work that is being done at local and regional levels to support mental and physical health.

“Overall, we will shape our response according to local needs, and invite partners to work with us to help realise the strong, sustainable and resilient economy that Solihull is known for.”

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