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56. York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Sector Study

In Autumn 2021, the York & North Yorkshire (Y&NY) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) commissioned Kada Research to undertake a comprehensive review of key economic sectors across the sub-region in two distinct parts comprising:

  • a research report to build intelligence on which economic sectors had the potential to make the greatest contribution to future economic growth
  • a report to consider what actions the LEP and partners could take to support the further growth of the identified sectors.

The client asked the team to take a fresh perspective, including the consideration of new ideas about where future investment might best be focused. This included cross cutting technologies and industries tackling urgent global issues such as climate change, food security, and energy.

As well as sectors with growth potential the team also looked at foundation and mature industries as they underpin much activity within the sub-region, and also have a strong presence. The second part of the study considered what actions the LEP and its partners should take to stimulate economic growth in the chosen sectors.

Initially we assessed the evidence using commercial data and official statistics to look at industries across a number of domains. These included sector dynamics and prospects. For instance, how were different industries affected by Covid? How were they predicted to grow? And what is their export propensity?

The team looked at historic trends in employment and output against the predicted trajectories, as well as identifying some ‘productivity heroes’ and niches where there were particularly high concentrations of activity.

Some sectors were identified using insights from stakeholders as areas of potential, which was based on their contribution to a carbon negative future, their employment potential, or their significance in innovation or technology adoption terms. Key supporting assets and critical infrastructure supporting the sectors were identified and mapped.

As a result of the above the following broad economic areas were identified and key firms and strengths were highlighted for each.

  • agri-food
  • sustainable energy
  • the bio economy
  • health, pharma & life sciences
  • digitech, data & creative industries
  • advanced manufacturing

Part two of the study unpicked these further. This report outlined a five-point action plan designed to support sustainable growth and resilience in the priority sectors. It included the following priorities:

  • Objective 1: Green innovation – net-zero pathways and low-carbon solutions.
  • Objective 2: Empowering people for a fairer, stronger economy.
  • Objective 3: Supply chain resilience and growth and digital adoption.
  • Objective 4: Strengthening R&D, science and innovation investment in the priority sectors.
  • Objective 5: Trade, inward investment and high-value opportunities.

The final reports and supporting presentation were well received by the client who commented on “the breadth, depth and high-quality content and presentation of the reports”. The client added “many thanks for once again for the excellent work your team has produced”.

The LEP strategy and Inward Investment team have used the findings to promote the sub-region in its inward investment and growth activity.

Study director, Karl Dalgleish, said:

“Despite knowing the area well, we kept an open mind on this study and looked at what the evidence, data and stakeholders told us. This resulted in a robust but new perspective on the local economy in a sub-region with very ambitious low carbon aspirations.”

If you are thinking about commissioning a sector study or if you would like to talk through an idea or hear about this work you can contact karl.dalgleish@kadaresearch.co.uk or cassie@kadaresearch.co.uk.