Birthday celebrations for the Forest Economic Partnership

More than 150 local people, organisations and businesses will be marking a very special day this week as the Forest Economic Partnership (FEP) celebrates its first birthday.

On Tuesday 8th January it will be a whole year since local businesses, councils and people first joined together their ideas and resources to give the Forest of Dean a voice as part of the Glos2050 big conversation.

The partnership members meet quarterly and run four sub-groups, working together to deliver a thriving and sustainable economy.

During its first year the partnership has submitted responses to consultations for the Cross-Rail Franchise, the Glos2050 Vision, Dene Magna Sixth Form, the Forest Hospital and the House of Lords Select Committee.

Its ‘education and skills sub group’ has worked with Dene Magna School on an idea to make work experience more flexible for both the students and participating businesses. Rather than just a few set weeks during the academic year, the school now allows placements for work experience to be arranged at any point during the year. This gives more young people the opportunity to get a placement in their chose field and gain experience in their area of interest.

Another success came in November when the Forest of Dean District Council picked up The Federation of Small Businesses’ award for the ‘most innovative small business campaign’. This was for the partnership’s early work addressing key challenges and opportunities in the Forest of Dean around education and skills, transport and infrastructure, digital connectivity and bridges and borders.

Cllr Richard Leppington, cabinet member for Development, Asset Management, Infrastructure and Housing said, “I wish a very happy first birthday to the 156 separate individuals, organisations and businesses which make up our Forest Economic Partnership.

“What a successful first year it has been as we drive forward with our vision that in 2050 the Forest of Dean is an attractive, vibrant and dynamic destination to live, work and do business.”

Andrew Callard, chair of Forest Economic Enterprise said, "A year ago the Forest of Dean District Council had the idea to help our district set its economic vision for the future and create the necessary action now.

“I've been delighted to see the FEP flourish with high levels of engagement. Our four sub-groups, which meet monthly, have heard many issues. They bring forward projects to create solutions to problems. I'm excited for our second year as the district's real needs are being heard, and firm plans are emerging to take us forwards."

The FEP’s first event of 2019 is called “Inspiring Forest” - an open evening taking place on Thursday 31 January at Bespoke Brewery, Mitcheldean from 4.30pm to 6.30pm.  Local businesses are being encouraged to attend and the event is free of charge. To book your place visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/forest-economic-partnership-introduction-to-inspiring-the-forest-tickets-53724571640

Find out more about the FEP at https://www.fdean.gov.uk/fep

Follow us on Twitter @FEP2050 #FOD2050

ENDS

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