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[February newsletter]

Open to the public: click on the arrow above to watch Hertfordshire Growth Board 26th January meeting.

Setting out our ambitions for 2021

Welcome to our first Hertfordshire Growth Board newsletter for 2021.

This year heralds a new era of openness as, for the first time, our members came together as a Joint Governance Committee. Our Board Meetings are now open to the public to attend, bringing increased transparency about our ambitions and future priorities.

I welcome this move to greater openness around our ways of working and see it as a tremendous step forward for the county, signalling a real sense of coalescence around what good growth and recovery means.

At our first Growth Board meeting of 2021, members agreed to take these three ambitious priority themes forward over the next 12 months:

      Economic Recovery, performance and resilience: to ensure that
Hertfordshire is ready to bring greater investment into the county (from
both public and private sources);

      Working together to deliver the homes that Hertfordshire needs:
informed by discussions with Government on accelerating
housing delivery;

      Future Hertfordshire: focusing on digital, health and well-being,
climate, carbon and sustainability.

This work programme translates into a coherent route map for our county, helping us navigate our way through the challenging weeks and months to come. I look forward to continuing to share our progress with you.

Cllr David Williams
Chair, Hertfordshire Growth Board
Leader, Hertfordshire County Council

You can view the livestreamed meeting here and access our Board Papers on the website.

Read this blog by Hertfordshire Growth Board's Director Patsy Dell on how the new Joint Governance Committee will positively impact on good growth.

News and Partner Updates

Proposals in response to Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission report

On 30 January, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, announced a number of proposals in response to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission report. This includes the publication of a draft national design code that provides a checklist of design principles to consider for new developments, such as street character, building type, façade, and the requirements that address wellbeing and environmental impact.

MHCLG is seeking views on draft revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework and a new draft National Model Design Code. The Government is also inviting expressions of interest from local planning authorities in England to test the National Model Design Code. The deadline for submission of expressions of interest is 22 February 2021.

£15m secured to tackle climate change in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire County Council has successfully secured £15m of funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, managed by Salix Finance, to help fight the climate change emergency in the county. Read the full press release here. The Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy is the key to delivering the county council's nine green ambitions, including increasing resource efficiency, improving biodiversity on its land, and making Hertfordshire a net zero greenhouse gas county before 2050.

The future of towns and cities post COVID-19

What is the impact of the pandemic on commuter footfall, the retail landscape and levelling up for England's towns and cities? A new report by KMPG highlights the vulnerability of some of Hertfordshire's towns such as Hemel, Watford and St Albans post COVID-19. Read the full report here.

Hertfordshire's commitment to visitor economy recovery strongly supported by new tourism research

Visit Herts' latest Tourism Economic Impact Study, published today, shows that before the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the county's visitor economy had topped £2.4 billion for the first time ever, welcoming a record 29 million visitors in 2019.


The next Hertfordshire Skills and Employment Strategy webinar will take place on 25th February, 1-2.30pm. Book your place here. For more information on the strategy engagement process so far, including links to the online survey, first webinar recording and slides, click here.

Real Estates Live: A new era of construction
26 February, 11-12pm via Zoom

Hertfordshire Growth Board has positioned Hertfordshire as a UK leader in sustainable construction. Join the expert panel to hear why Hertfordshire is championing green construction, learn about the ideas and initiatives springing from Herts IQ, and understand the economic advantages of building greener, faster.

Register here.

Hertfordshire Housing Conference: Off-site Manufacturing (OSM) in Hertfordshire
18th March, 10-11.15am via Zoom

Patsy Dell, Director, Hertfordshire Growth, Hertfordshire Growth Board, will set out the overall vision of HGB and how OSM will help deliver that vision. Registration details will soon be published on our website.

Building Futures Conference & Awards 2021

The Building Futures sustainable development awards are back for 2021 and promise to be the best yet with a full day design and place-making focused conference. Register your interest for the 2021 awards and conference.

Dates for the Diary

Our next Board Meeting will be held on 30 March 2021, 9.30-11.30am. If you wish to attend this meeting in an electronic capacity, please go here where there will be a link to the meeting in due course:

Keep updated with our progress:


Room 204, Hertfordshire County Council, County Hall, Pegs Lane, Hertford SG13 8DE

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