Supporting the drafting of Cumbria LEP Digital Strategy
Steer Economic Development was commissioned noncompetitively to re-write the draft Cumbria Digital Strategy.
Working directly to the Chief Executive of Cumbria LEP, this was a rapid turnaround piece of desk-based work, undertaken and completed within a time-sensitive three-week window. Alongside consultation with the LEP’s Chief Executive, our work involved consultation with a further LEP Board Member, who had a strong interest in the outcomes of the work.
The draft strategy focused on investing in Skills and Infrastructure to deliver a ‘SMART rural county’ across Cumbria. The five drivers that framed the strategy’s action plan were:
- Digitally Enabled: Implementing the right infrastructure to enable connectivity and sufficient bandwidth and latency to provide reliable digital infrastructure;
- Digital Business: Enable digital routes to market so that firms can be productive and innovative and able to compete with no digital barriers to entry to firms across the County;
- Digitally Talented: A skills offer that ensures a workforce for Cumbria that is capable, competent with the right skills and qualifications to work at the leading edge and provide a diverse and resilient workforce;
- Digital Public Services: Accessible public services that enable more efficient delivery between service users and gatekeepers;
- Digitally Inclusive: Connectivity for Cumbria’s most vulnerable and hardest to reach communities is a vital component of providing opportunities for people to learn new skills, access routes out of deprivation and enable social and economic mobility for communities.
The client team further distilled these into three overriding themes.
With the help of our specialist subcontractor, we restructured and re-drafted the strategy, adding to the high-level evidence base with the data and content we had access to and improving the internal logic and coherence of the document. We also added drafted key necessary sections relating to the strategy’s governance and the monitoring and evaluation of subsequent activity.