SKDC leader and InvestSK chairman Kelham Cooke says economic regeneration company is 'making progress'
InvestSK is ‘making progress’, says its chairman.
The council-owned economic regeneration company has produced its first annual review, with it reporting a list of achievements.
Launched last October, InvestSK aims to work in partnership with its owner and creator – South Kesteven District Council – to bring jobs and investment to the district.
The review comes as InvestSK, which has an annual budget of around £1 million a year, faced calls for greater transparency from councillors last month.
In a foreword, council leader and InvestSK chairman Councillor Kelham Cooke spoke of progress in gaining £2m of government funding for a university centre in Grantham, amid other schemes.
He said: “It’s early days, but InvestSK is making progress.”
The review said InvestSK has worked directly with 100 businesses to help them expand into new premises, creating 250 jobs.
InvestSK has also prepared investment propositions for more than 300 acres of land and showcased South Kesteven at business events.
The company is giving support and funding to help 15 people create start-up businesses and helped create 52 new jobs through its Town Centre Investment Fund.
The review says demand for employment land and premises outstrips supply, which is why it and SKDC is prioritising development at Gonerby Moor in Grantham and other sites in Stamford and Bourne.
It also helped promote the district through Discover Kesteven and supported festivals across the district, including Gravity Fields and Grantham’s first-ever Portugeuse and English festival.
A “highlight” was securing money to help regenerate Grantham town centre through the High Street Heritage Action Zones programme, which with match funding from SKDC could deliver £1.3m of investment. Securing a position on the government’s Future High Street Fund may secure up to £18m to transform its town centre.
CEO Steve Bowyer said his staff have been working hard to deliver economic growth.
More by this authorDarren Greenwood