Route map to recovery14/05/20
A COLLECTIVE response “harnessing experience and enthusiasm across the board” is the way to set Dundee on the road to economic recovery according to the city council leader.
John Alexander’s comments come after the UK Government unveiled its plan to get the economy moving and in the wake of two Scottish Government reports looking at the path of recovery.
Cllr Alexander said: “We are developing a local plan that will guide the city out of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, but it is at the very earliest stages.
“However I felt that it was vital at this point to provide the much needed reassurance that detailed planning has already begun with the emphasis squarely on protecting jobs and businesses and striving to maintain the unparalleled progress Dundee has made over the last decade.
“Recovering from the effects of the measures to contain coronavirus and getting Dundee back on a positive path are the greatest challenges we have faced in our lifetimes.
“We are under no illusion that this is a mammoth task but also that, as with any crisis, there are opportunities to find new and better ways of doing things. It creates openings for us to move forward on the climate agenda with our already leading role in renewable energy and sustainable transport giving us an edge.
We want to build back better, ensuring that nobody gets left behind and everybody can contribute to the recovery that will keep our great city moving forward.
Any future plan will set out how the city's economy will return to growth over the coming months and years, particularly focussing on major sectors like retail and travel and tourism which are important to Dundee’s prosperity.
Emerging priorities include kick starting construction activity, getting the Tay Cities Deal in place, safely re-starting cultural/leisure facilities and tackling unemployment and opportunities for young people.
Many existing strategies, including the City Plan and the Waterfront masterplan may need to be refocused to reflect the radically changed context brought about by the pandemic.
Cllr Alexander continued: “It is still too early to understand the full impact, but our planning is based on the sensible assumption that full recovery could take around three to five years rather than there being a quick bounce back.
“Next year will be one of the most challenging economically for the Dundee economy with a significant rise in unemployment envisaged.
“To succeed in our recovery we need to keep working closely with partners whose specialist skills and knowledge will enable us to get the city’s economy back on track.
“But that doesn’t just mean governments and the public sector at every level.
“It means harnessing experience and enthusiasm across the board from sole traders, through SMEs to our biggest firms to use their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and energy to guide the city’s recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and lockdown.”
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