Monthly column: Over 8,000 new jobs created and protected in Bedford Borough

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FujiFilm House official opening Kagami-Biraki ceremony toast
FujiFilm House official opening Kagami-Biraki ceremony toast

Having a strong local economy and providing jobs for residents has been a key priority of mine.

We have attracted hundreds of companies to the Borough, as well as helped local businesses to thrive. It is estimated we have helped to create and protect over 8,000 new jobs for Bedford Borough residents.

Through our strong business support offer, companies such as the Money & Pension Services, MH Star, Expeditors, Carlton Packaging, B&M Distribution, U Systems, Vison Modular Systems and Lantmännen Unibake and others have all relocated to Bedford Borough.

We have also had a number of home-grown successes like EVIOS who are leaders in manufacturing electric vehicle charging points and are at the cutting edge of the green economy.

We also have a wealth of micro-businesses being set up by our local entrepreneurs, and existing businesses expanding and growing like The Waterfront Hotel, Spa and Golf at Wyboston Lakes Resort or making Bedford Borough their headquarters, for example FujiFilm.

I’m very pleased with the progress we have made, but I’m aware of the challenges presented in the last few years in terms of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

We are making sure that Bedford Borough is recovering sustainably and it remains a centre for skills development and job creation.

As well as attracting a wide range of businesses to the Borough, I am focussed on getting residents into higher-skilled jobs. I have launched the Skills Led Recovery Plan to ensure that residents have the skills and opportunities needed.

The plan will enable Bedford’s future economy to be resilient and people-focused, be ready to face economic shocks and will respond to changes in economic needs, ensuring success for residents and local businesses.

This plan deals with the most obvious economic impact of the pandemic: unemployment, and the lost opportunities for people to grow their skills and talents.

Our recovery must be focussed on closing the skills gap and providing residents with the opportunities to grow themselves and their businesses

The Council is working in partnership with colleges and training facilities, whilst promoting apprenticeships for adults of any age. The Jobs Hub continues to help residents and businesses.

The service has helped 1,835 people to find employment, training or enterprise since 2018. Find out more about the Jobs Hub and sign up to their weekly E-Bulletin at bedford.gov.uk/jobs-and-careers/jobs-hub.

This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mayor Dave Hodgson. It is published unedited and
does not reflect the views of the Bedford Independent.