A series of ambitious targets for a more prosperous and self-sustaining Greater Manchester are published in the new Greater Manchester Strategy today, Monday 9 December.
The strategy, called Stronger Together, sets out a number of far-reaching goals for the region to achieve by 2020.
• Increasing Greater Manchester’s share of total UK jobs, such that an additional 44,000 jobs are created.
• Increasing Greater Manchester’s economic growth rate to exceed the national average.
• Reducing the number of people reliant on out-of-work benefits, by 12 per cent.
• Increasing the number of children achieving a good level of development (as measured by the Early Years Foundation Stage profile) to meet the national average by 2020, benefitting 10,000 extra children.
• Doubling the rate of reduction of GM carbon emissions, so that direct emissions are 48% lower than 1990 levels
Another crucial target is to reduce the current £5 billion gap between the tax revenues generated in Greater Manchester and public spending, enabling Greater Manchester to become more financially self-sustaining.
Lord Peter Smith, Chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), said: “This strategy is vitally important for Greater Manchester’s future success.
“Ensuring that public sector agencies co-ordinate more innovatively and effectively together across Greater Manchester is not just about adapting to cuts in our budgets. It’s about delivering real improvements for Greater Manchester residents which improve their prospects in life, and that means tackling some deep-rooted issues such as worklessness and poor health.
Mike Blackburn, Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GMLEP), said: “We need to create the right conditions for growth. This means fully exploiting our science and research strengths and building on our growing international links with emerging new economies. It also means providing the excellent skills provision and good transport links which can connect residents with the opportunities and skills that employers need.”
The GMCA and GMLEP have today published the updated version of the strategy which will guide the city region’s growth up to 2020.
Stronger Together, builds on an original Greater Manchester Strategy first published in 2009 but has been extensively updated to reflect evolving challenges – especially the deep economic downturn and severe squeeze in public sector funding.
The final version has also been shaped by feedback from respondents to a consultation on the draft strategy and has two main strands – economic growth and public sector reform.
The GMCA has now begun work on its Growth and Reform Plan, which will set out in more detail how the Greater Manchester Strategy’s goals will be achieved.
The strategy, including a plain English summary, is available at: http://www.agma.gov.uk/gmca/gms_2013/index.html