The Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) the body responsible for bidding for government cash for the county, has set out its 20-year aim in a report titled Dorset’s Economic Ambition.
The LEP aims to drastically increase the county’s political and economic influence, increase the economy to twice its current size, create 80,000 jobs and increase productivity by 55%.
The Dorset’s Economic Ambition report says the county is “an economy with familiar weaknesses but rare ambition”.
Creating a “vibrant and sustainable 21st century by the sea” will mean a “city the size of Bristol supporting the wider Dorset and vice versa”, the report says.
Sara Uzzell, deputy chair of Dorset LEP, said the aim was to make sure Dorset was seen by government as a good place to direct grant money. She went on to list several achievements that Dorset has made including a thriving economy, major international businesses and more.
Dorset LEP director Lorna Carver said: “It’s a bid for funding and we’ve got to be competitive in that and we’ve got to demonstrate our strengths.”
“Considering it will be the same size at Bristol, it should have the same voice as Bristol, representing 350,000 people.”
The LEP believes changes in local government could also be key to dealing with the challenges that come with growth – such as affordable housing and limits on infrastructure.
“You need to plan for future growth. There’s a really good opportunity in Dorset with all the change that’s happening across health and local authorities,” said Lorna Carver.