Our visions and aspirations

Cllr Jim O'Boyle

Foreword from Cllr Jim O Boyle, August 2022

The decade between 2010 and 2019 saw many successes for Coventry’s economy.  We saw a rejuvenation of our automotive sector, with the city at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, culminating in us securing the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre.  We have also seen the city and region continue to be successful in securing new investment, notably Foreign Direct Investment.  Securing UK City of Culture 2021 has also provided huge opportunities for boosting Coventry’s profile to further position ourselves to attract new investment, as well as grow our creative, cultural and tourism sectors. 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising challenges with inflation and the cost of living and cost of doing business, disruption to global supply chains, and new UK-EU trade regulations post-Brexit, have all presented many challenges to Coventry’s economy and the city’s businesses and residents.  They have also caused longstanding inequalities between the richest and poorest in our society to grow.  We are uniquely positioned to tackle these challenges, led by a strong legacy from UK City of Culture 2021 and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the delivery of new development sites that provide unrivalled connectivity, and our world-class innovation assets and education institutions.  Building on the publication of our 10 strategic priorities on how we make levelling up a reality for Coventry, the publication of our new Economic Development Strategy for Coventry is very timely.  It will create the framework to enable a local economy that delivers sustainable growth for the city and region, and crucially deliver an economy that residents across all our communities can benefit from.

The time has once again come to build on Coventry’s longstanding tradition of innovation and reinventing itself, as we rise to the challenges of delivering a sustained economic recovery post-pandemic; delivering net zero and leading the way in the green industrial revolution; and ensuring that Coventry’s residents and businesses can drive this through developing new skills and training opportunities in a way which systematically seeks to reduce inequalities right across our social gradient and addressing widening inequalities.  We know and understand our communities; we work effectively with our businesses, third sector and other local public sector partners to deliver results, and we will once again work effectively with our partners to deliver the necessary change that this Strategy is seeking to achieve.   

Vision for this Economic Development Strategy

We will create a strong and resilient economy, where inclusive growth is promoted and delivered, businesses are enabled to innovate and grow and new local jobs are created.  

To achieve this vision, we will:

  • Facilitate a sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging economic climate driven by inflation, the rising cost of living and cost of doing business, and international trade and supply chain challenges. thereby creating the platform for longer-term growth and prosperity.
  • Deliver a first class support infrastructure that responds to our businesses’ needs and opportunities.
  • Secure maximum public and private investment to deliver infrastructure projects that create the conditions for economic growth, job creation and that can “level up” Coventry’s neighbourhoods.
  • Secure job creation, growth and prosperity for Coventry through attracting and supporting business investment from both the UK and overseas.
  • Ensure that social value and sustainability are incorporated into all of our Economic Development work.
  • Support the development of a skills ecosystem which provides the skills required by Coventry’s businesses, both current and future, and contributes to economic growth and the prosperity of the city.
  • Ensure Coventry is a leader in the green industrial revolution by supporting our businesses, residents and partner stakeholders to tackle the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.
  • Build on existing strong partnerships in delivering all elements of this strategy.

We will measure progress made against the strategy objectives through the monitoring of the overall One Coventry Plan, and some of our key measurements of success include:

  • Increase in Gross Domestic Product per head from £28,699, and reduce gap with national average.
  • Increase in number of active businesses from 10,120 (or 330/10,000).
  • Increase Coventry’s employment rate from 71.2% (adding to the 161,000 jobs currently in the city).
  • Reduce Coventry’s unemployment rate from 5.5%, and reduce gap with national average.
  • Increase median annual pay from £24,645 and reduce gap with national average.
  • Increase in visitor trips from current level of 4.028m and pre-pandemic level of 10m.