The Green Paper sets out the UK Government's vision for building
a future UK Industrial Strategy that aims to "improve living
standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and
driving growth across the whole country".
The Council's response to the Green Paper puts the case to the
Government on the importance of South Somerset's economy to the UK
and its potential for growth and job creation into the future,
provided it gets the support it deserves. South Somerset's response
focuses on the value of the aerospace industry in Somerset and the
importance of UK Government support and investment to the industry.
This view is supported by Somerset County Council, with whom SSDC
jointly commissioned a report into the value of aerospace in
Drawing upon data and views from a wealth of industry bodies and
experts, the report provides clear evidence of the immense value of
aerospace to the Somerset economy. In particular it stresses the
importance of building upon our existing capabilities in what is
termed high value design and manufacturing - something the
Government's Green Paper says will be important to jobs and
economic growth in the UK.
The Council's response to government highlights that aerospace
activities in Somerset are part of a globally significant South
West aerospace cluster and contributes £300 million a year to the
Councillor Ric Pallister, Leader of South Somerset District
Council said, "The UK Government supporting and investing in the
aerospace industry is vital to delivering local economic prosperity
in South Somerset and more widely in the South West. We have over
21 times as many people employed in the aerospace industry than the
national average and we have a unique specialism in rotorcraft
design and production with Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) based
"Our response to the Green Paper stresses the need for
government investment in skills to equip the future workforce, in
infrastructure to unlock employment land and improve digital and
road/rail connectivity, and in supporting initiatives like iAero.
Our aim is to further innovation and collaboration within the
industry and between the public and private sectors. These are the
foundations needed for aerospace businesses and other hi-tech
businesses to continue to locate here and grow, to provide high
value jobs to local people, and to boost our exports and encourage
If Somerset is to capitalise on the potential for growth in the
aerospace sector and remain at the forefront of the industry,
support from the UK Government will be needed.
The Green Paper response also urged the UK Government to take
better account of how government procurement decisions affect the
local and national economy.
Councillor Jo Roundell Greene, South Somerset District Council's
Portfolio Holder for Economic Development said, "Opportunities for
growth in aerospace are enormous and the industry contributes
hundreds of millions of pounds to the Somerset economy each year.
The industry supports thousands of jobs in manufacturing and
through the extensive supply chain, across the county.
"Our response to the UK Government's consultation on the
Industrial Strategy Green Paper highlights the need to focus on the
value of the aerospace industry to Somerset and the UK economy.
There is clear evidence that increasing productivity and driving
growth in Somerset will help to improve living standards and
economic growth across the county and beyond."
South Somerset District Council's response to the Government's
Green Paper also draws the wider support of neighbouring
authorities in Dorset, from where many residents travel to work in
aerospace businesses in Somerset.