The leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council who has been appointed to the board of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) believes it has a vital role to play in the economy post-Covid-19.
Cllr Julie Jackson, who became the first female leader of NBBC in 2018, attended Ash Green School in Ash Green and sixth form at Nicholas Chamberlain School in Bedworth before studying English at Birmingham University.
She then joined Sainsbury’s graduate management training programme and was a school governor for over 20 years at various schools including Goodyers End Primary School, Bedworth Heath Nursery School and St Michaels CoE Primary and Academy in Bedworth.
Cllr Jackson was first elected to NBBC in 1996 and is the current borough councillor for the Wem Brook ward.
She said: “The LEP is absolutely vital to the efficient economy of the area and particularly when we come out of lockdown, it will be particularly important in the recovery of the business world.
“It will have an invaluable role to play in leading the economy’s survival in the sub-region because the LEP has excellent contacts with local businesses.
“The LEP is a partnership made-up of people with expert capabilities from the private sector working alongside key council leaders and leading members in local government and by bringing everyone together, it can really make sure we maximise all the opportunities available for businesses.
“It is talking to businesses and knows their needs and can also provide leadership and be a voice to other organisations where necessary and with MPs by using their lobbying skills.
“NBBC is a key constituent part of the Coventry and Warwickshire area and we’re also members of the West Midlands Combined Authority because we value the extra input it gives us.
“By working in partnership, we want to maximise the opportunities for Nuneaton and Bedworth and the wider sub-region.
“We acknowledge a lot of our residents work throughout the Coventry and Warwickshire area and it is important for our future prosperity that we’re working at a sub-regional level.”
The CWLEP has contributed £7.5 million through the Government’s Local Growth Fund to the Transforming Nuneaton scheme as part of its partnership with Warwickshire County Council and NBBC to create a vibrant economy in the town centre and unlock other land in the area for private sector development.
Cllr Jackson added: “Transforming Nuneaton is incredibly important for our community and it is one of our top priorities as a council. The LEP has done really good work throughout the area and its support is really important to the scheme.
“High streets up and down the country are struggling and that was before the Coronavirus. We recognise that we need a vibrant town centre that creates jobs and leisure opportunities for a mix of people living there.
“We’re looking forward to creating 21st century opportunities for our residents and to attract people to see the fantastic cultural offer we have as well as improve our town centre’s retail.”
Nick Abell, interim chair of the CWLEP, said it was great to add Cllr Jackson’s experience to the board.
“Cllr Jackson has nearly 25 years’ experience in local government and she will be a valuable addition to our public sector representatives on the board,” he said.
“We want to continue to drive forward Coventry and Warwickshire’s economy and having Cllr Jackson’s input from Nuneaton and Bedworth will give the board extra expertise in bringing further investment to our area.”