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12.07.17

London borough has big aims to be ‘best in Europe for business’

A London Borough has today stated its desire to become “one of the best places to do business” in Europe as it launched its ambitious Industrial Strategy.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council today released the plans, ‘Economic Growth for Everyone’, which set out a number of measures to drive enterprise, innovation and skills in the area.

Part of the plans also include a new partnership with Imperial College London (ICL) aiming to use the expertise of academics at the organisation to boost local economic growth and push greater innovation.

The authority wants to make it easier for ambitious entrepreneurs to start a business by exploring the creation of a new venture capital fund to support tech and creative businesses, as well as exploring business rates cuts for key sectors.

Major regeneration and infrastructure schemes including the delivery of 10,000 new homes, of which half will be affordable, also form a part of the strategy.

Finally, the council has pledged to invest in local skills, and push for additional support for science and maths teachers and apprenticeships.

“This is an ambitious strategy to ensure that Hammersmith and Fulham is the best place to do business in Europe – and to live and work,” said Cllr Stephen Cowan, leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

“From our innovation partnership with Imperial to our major investment in local skills and regeneration, we are determined to future-proof our economy.”

The council leader added that the borough was already home to a number of international businesses, as well as a thriving community of start-ups and small businesses.

“We want to create the right conditions for these firms to flourish and to accelerate growth in sectors with high-growth potential, including our burgeoning biotech, digital and creative industries,” he continued. “That’s why we are providing flexible, affordable workspace and looking at creating a venture capital fund, as well as targeted business rate cuts.

“With national politicians preoccupied by Brexit, now is the time for local councils to step up and deliver economic growth for all.”

Professor Alice Gast, president of ICL, commented that collaboration is at the heart of Imperial’s strategy.

“At our White City Campus in Hammersmith and Fulham, we are building a dynamic environment where academics work alongside corporate and community partners to drive discovery, promote entrepreneurship, inspire young people, and develop solutions to some of the most pressing challenges of our time,” she said.

“We look forward to working with the council to explore new opportunities for growth and innovation in this vibrant community.”

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