July Bulletin

Approach to COVID-19

Since the creation of the Forest Economic Partnership in January 2018, we have worked towards the goal of a thriving economy for the District in 2050. Post Covid-19, these goals have not changed. Our core messages remain the same, create a sustainable groundwork for business to come, grow and thrive, whether this is focusing on helping schools improve the aspiration of our future workforce or helping our partners and stakeholders implement infrastructure changes which assist the District's economic development.

 In the coming months and years, we have no illusions that the District and it’s businesses will see troubles stemming from the recent events, however the ambition of the FEP is to find a way to help the District overcome these and build a better future here in the magnificent place we call home.

Highlights From the Stakeholder Meeting

On 30 June 2020, FEP held their first digital stakeholder meeting with presentations from Carolyn Black of Canopy, Forest of Dean District Council and FEP’s board of Directors.

The meeting focussed on the impacts of the current situations on the ongoing FEP projects  and how day to day running of businesses have been affected.

Carolyn touched on the culture economy and how the “integrity of place” especially in our beautiful setting, will make a positive impact to local economy and our way of life.

Throughout the meeting it was evident the impact of poor digital infrastructure has been having on everyday activities in the post Covid business world and questions arose to where we go now.

All presentations are available at www.FEP2050.co.uk/events

Question and Answer notes will be available shortly!

The Forest of Dean is open for business

With many businesses in the town reopening on the 15 June 2020 and more set to reopen on the 4 July 2020, the Forest of Dean District Council have been busy ensuring that precautions are in place.

Free resources are available (posters and floor stickers) on request from the District Council. For more information, please contact regeneration@fdean.gov.uk

For more information on business support pledged by the Government please see: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

Rethinking Forest Transport

 Had 2020 turned out as we were used to, FEP’s Infrastructure and Transport Sub-group would have been debating the final version of a major Forest transport consultation.

This research would have taken the first step to a radical approach to ‘solving’ rural transport issues by starting with people’s needs and perceptions. As a ground zero approach this ignores current transport options with their issues. The insights gained would challenge many assumptions and lead to practical change.

Find out more at: https://fep2050.co.uk/blog/rethinking-forest-transport/

Broadband in the Forest

 I think we can all agree its been an "interesting few months". I'd imagine its been especially interesting for the broadband and mobile industries which at the drop of a hat have had a 40% increase in fixed broadband usage, and mobile companies reporting around a 50% increase.

 As ever the headline figures don't quite do justice to the real-world.

 Find out more at: https://fep2050.co.uk/blog/rural-broadband-speeds/

Open for Business

The Forest of Dean has a strong history of resilience and the ability to adapt to changes in economic and environmental circumstances, a skillset of particular relevance given the  current turbulent climate.

From the evolution of Iron Ore to Coal Mining and the management of the Forest's timber and its use for naval shipbuilding, the Forest of Dean has been on the forefront of some of the greatest manufacturing and economic advances in British history. 

Find out more at: https://fep2050.co.uk/blog/open-for-business/

How is Covid affected your business?

 Covid-19 has forced all businesses to live in interesting times. Coming out of lockdown will create many more issues as businesses balance the needs of the company with the needs of employees and customers. Locally and nationally there has been guidance and sources of financial support. But what is perhaps missing are the individual company stories about how covid-19 has affected their business particularly in rural areas.

Find out more at: https://fep2050.co.uk/blog/how-has-covid-19-affected-your-business/

Dates for your Diary

17 September 2020

Stakeholder Meeting  9:30 to 11:30 at HillsideBrewery, Holly Bush Farm, Ross Rd, Gloucestershire, GL17 0NG

17 December 2020

Stakeholder Meeting (Venue TBC)