Theme Lead: Barry Rowland - Chief Executive
Programme Directors:

John Collings: Child Poverty

Rob Hamilton: Knowledge Economy / Employability & Skills

Helen Golightly: Enterprise & Business Support

Directorate Programme Manager: Jessica Calvert

Sustainable Communities Strategy Vision:

This theme outlines our strategic priorities for sustainable economic development. Achieving economic success for Newcastle is necessary for progress in all the themes of our SCS. We have to remain focused on opportunities for future development and increase Newcastle’s competitive advantage during this time of current economic recession. We will do this by continuing to develop our economic sector strengths: retail, culture and tourism – these sectors provide a vital first step into employment for many people. At the same time, we will support the emergence of new industries in areas such as science, design and renewables which are crucial to creating higher-skilled jobs and increasing average earnings. To do all of this will require a physical and natural environment and infrastructure which attracts people and investment to the city. 1NG’s Economic Masterplan (The 1Plan) will provide an integrated plan for the economic and spatial development of Newcastle. It will coordinate activity to deliver these four big changes:

1. Growing the knowledge economy

2. Developing skills and attracting talent

3. Transforming the urban core

4. Pioneering sustainable urbanism

Strategic Outcomes (Lead):

  • People have economic wellbeing

Strategic Outcomes (Contribution):

  • People enjoy a good quality environment in thriving neighbourhoods
  • People make a positive contribution
  • People achieve learning potential, express creativity & enjoy culture

Challenge 1: Driving economic competitiveness and enabling all our communities to participate in the economy

Although economic performance has improved in Newcastle in the past ten years the city’s economy continues to lag behind the national averages, particularly in employment, skills and earnings. Even before the current recession, there remained significant gaps in terms of employment between different neighbourhoods and the rest of the city. Our challenge is to achieve sustainable economic development. This means building our competitiveness and creating the conditions in the city to attract retain and grow businesses. At the same time, we must ensure that more of Newcastle’s residents can take advantage of growing prosperity, in effect removing barriers to employment. We will do this through improving people’s skills and developing an enterprise culture. We have to help parents into work and training, improve opportunities for career progression and maximise family income to reduce the risk of child poverty among out of work and low income families.

Challenge 2: Addressing the causes and symptoms of child poverty and improving the lives and opportunities of all our children and young people

A third of our children and young people live in areas in the 10% most deprived nationally. Over 5% live in the 1% most deprived6. Children and young people who grow up in poverty are less likely to: attend school regularly; stay on at school; obtain qualifications; go on to higher education; and, aspire to well-paid employment.

In addition, they are more likely to become young parents themselves, reinforcing and perpetuating the cycle of poverty and deprivation. We have to break the cycle of poverty across generations. Young people’s prospects for the future depend on provision in early years and excellent education. The success of our young people today will increase the life chances of their children. The city’s schools are improved already and we have to ensure that this trend continues and accelerates, so all our young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential.

Children and young people who grow up in poverty are less likely to: attend school regularly; stay on at school; obtain qualifications; go on to higher education; and, aspire to well-paid employment.