We are developing a strategy to help the local economy recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Economic Recovery Plan sets out how the council and its partners will support businesses and individuals in the short, medium and longer term.

During the pandemic, the council’s focus has been on providing immediate, short-term assistance to those facing redundancy or business closure as a result of the covid restrictions. A range of grant schemes, advisory services and employability and business support programmes have been delivered, including distributing more than £56 million of Scottish Government grant funding to date.

While this will continue, the council is also looking ahead to enable existing businesses to adapt and grow, attract new business to North Lanarkshire, and create a more resilient and inclusive economic base for the future.

“As the pandemic continues and restrictions remain in place, it is too early to fully assess the medium to long-term economic impact but it is clear the effects are already being severely felt, with many businesses closing and unemployment increasing,” said Pamela Humphries, Head of Planning and Regeneration.

“In North Lanarkshire, the number of people claiming benefits is around 78% higher than before the pandemic, and between March and July 2020, 52,300 residents (1 in 3) were placed on furlough at some point.

“To help address this, a key priority for us is to support people into employment by investing in skills, education and training, particularly for new technology, digital skills and growth sectors, to meet future industry demand for jobs.

“In addition, we must support local businesses to grow, create new opportunities to diversify into new markets, and promote the benefits of North Lanarkshire as an attractive location to work and invest.

“The Economic Recovery Plan reflects the views of the business community from a survey carried out last year, and we will continue to work closely with private and public partners to drive forward a strategy to deliver sustainable economic growth for north Lanarkshire.”

The Plan integrates with the investment being made across the area in town centres, roads infrastructure, housing, industry and community facilities which is outlined in the council’s Economic Regeneration Delivery Plan.